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^^  PRELIMINARY    REPORT    ^  ^^^7'^ 

i,(7,w  »xnK    S.  F.BAIRD.^f 






F.   V.    HAYD  EN, 








PAET  I.— BEPOET  OF  F.  V.  nATDEN 11 

Chap.  I.  From  Ogden,  Utah,  toFoktHall,  Idaho., 13 

II.  From  FoKT  Hall,  Idaho,  to  Fokt  Ellis,  Montana 27 

TIT.  Fokt  Ellis— Mystic  Lake — Soukce  of  the  Gallatix— Trail  Cheek— Crow  Agency 

AND  First  CaSon— Exit  of  the  Yellowstone 44 

IV.  First  Canon— Snowy  Eange—Emgrant  Peak— Bottler's  Eanch— Second  CaSon— 

Devil's  Slide— White  Mountain— Hot  Springs,  etc 59 

V.  The  Grand  Canon— Falls— Hot  Springs— Yellowstone  Lake 81 

YI.  From  Yellowstone  Laice  to  the  Geyser  Basins  of  Fire-Hole   Eiver  and 

return 101 

vn.  Froji  Hot  Spring  Cami*.  on  Yellowstone  Lake,  up  Pelican  Creek  and  down 

East  Fork,  to  Bottler's  Eancii 130 

Vm.  Fort  Ellis— Three  Forks- Jefferson  Fork— Beaver  Head  Canon— Medicine 

Lodge  Creek 139 

IX.  Fort   Hall— Soda    Springs— Bear    Eiver    Valley— Bear    Lake    Valley— to 


S.  The  Yellowstone  National  Park,  with  a  Map 162 

XI.  Preliminary    Eeport  of    Dr.    A.  C.  Peale    on   Minerals,  Eocks,   Thermal 

Springs,  etc,  of  the  Expedition 165 


Chap.  I.  General  Eeview  :  Geographical  Features,  Mountains,  Forests,  etc 210 

II.  The  Great  Basin 227 

m.  Northern  Part  of  Salt  Lake  Basin,  and  Snake  Eiver  Plains 237 

IV.  Montana  Territory 249 

V.  Letters  from  Prof.  G.  N.  Allen  and  Mr.  Haskill,  and  Experiments  in 
Cultivation  on  the  Plains  along  the  Line  of  the  Kansas  Pacific  Eail- 
WAY.    ByE.  S.Elliott 925> 




Fossil  Flora.    By  Leo  Lesquereux 283 

I.  Enumeration  and  Description  of    the    Fossil  Plants,  from  the  Specimens 

OBTAINED  IN  THE  EXPLORATIONS    OF  DR.  F.  V.  HAYDBN,  1870    AND  1871 283 


V  m.  Tertiary  Flora  of  North  America 304 

On  the  Geology  and  Paleontology  of  the  Cretaceous  Strata  of  Kansas.    By  E.  D. 

Cope,  A.  M 318 

I.  A  General  Sketch  of  the  Ancient  Life 318 

n.  Geology 324 

in.  Synopsis  of  the  Fauna 327 

On  the  Vertebrate  Fossils  of  the  "Wahsatch  Group.    By  E.  D.  Cope,  A.  M 350 

On  the  Fossil  Vertebrates  of  the  Early  Tertla.ry  Formation  of  Wyoming.  By  Prof. 

Joseph  Leidy , 353 

Preliminary  List  op  the  Fossils  collected  by  Dr.  Hayden's  Exploring  Expedition  op 
1871,  IN  Utah  and  Wyoming  Territories,  with  Descriptions  of  a  Few  New 
Species.    By  F.  B.  Meek 373 


I.  Notice  of  Some  Worms  collected  during  Prof.  Hayden's  Expedition  to  the 

Yellowstone  Eiver  in  the  Summer  of  1871.    By  Prof.  Joseph  Leidy 381 

n.  Coleoptera.    By  George  H.  Horn,  M.  D 382 

III.  Notices  of  the  Heihptera  of  the  Western  Territories  of  the  United  States, 

chiefly  from  the  Surveys  of  Dr.  F.  V.  Hayden.    By  P.  E.  Uhler 393 

IV.  Notes  on  the  Saltatorial  Orthoptera  of  the  Eocky  Mountain  Eegions.    By 

Prof.  Cyrus  Thomas 423 

V.  List  of  Species  of  Butterflies  collected  by  Campbell  Cakrington  and  William 

B.  Logan,  of  the  Expedition,  in  1871.    By  W.H.Edwards 4C6 

VI.  Eeport  on  the  Eecent  Eeptiles  and  Fishes  of  the  Survey,  collected  by  Campbell 

Carrington  and  C.  M.  Dawes.  By  E.  D.  Cope,  A.  M 467 

YII.  Catalogue  of  Plants.    By  Prof.  Thomas  C.  Porter 477 

PAET  v.— METEOEOLOGY.    By  J.  W.  Beaman 499 


No.  Page. 

1.  Bent  quartzites  near  Ogden , 14 

2.  Wedge  of  limestone,  Ogden  Canon 16 

3.  Basalt  tables,  Snake  River  basin 29 

4.  Basalt  floor 29 

5.  Eeddisb  feldspathic  granite.  Wild  Cat  Canon 34 

6.  MetamorpLic  strata,  Black-tail  Deer  Creek 35 

7.  Weathered  granite,  Madison  Canon „ 39 

8.  Gneisic  strata  on  Elk  Creek 43 

9.  Gneisic  strata  with  trap 59 

10.  Cinnabar  Mountain 60 

11.  DevH'sSlide, 61 

12.  White  Mountain  Hot  Springs,  Gardiner's  River,  (chart) 64 

13.  General  view  of  overflow  of  Great  Spring,  Gardiner's  River 66 

14.  Liberty  Cap 67 

15.  Extinct  oblong  geysers 68 

16.  Chimney,  Gardiner's  River 69 

17.  Dead  Chimney,  Gardiner's  River 69 

18.  Bathing  pools.  White  Mountain  hot  springs 70 

19.  Grotto  in  the  glen.  White  Mountain  hot  springs 71 

20.  Old  Hot  Spring,  limestones  shelving  off  by  ficost,  &c 71 

21.  Ideal  section  White  Mountain  hot  springs 73 

22.  Basalt  at  Low  Falls,  on  Gardiner's  River 74 

23.  Devil's  Den,  Tower  Creek 78 

24.  Great  Canon  and  Lower  Falls  of  Yellowstone 85 

25.  Sulphur  and  Mud  Springs,  Crater  Hills,  (chart) 88 

86.  Sulphur  and  Mud  Springs,  Yellowstone  River,  (chart) 90 

27.  Mud  Caldron „...  91 

28.  Grotto,  Yellowstone  River 92 

29.  Giant's  Caldron,  Yellowstone  River 93 

30.  Mud  Geyser 94 

31.  Yellowstone  Lake 95 

32.  "TheAnna" 96 

33.  Traveling  in  the  Yellowstone  country 99 

34.  Section  of  large  spring,  Yellowstone  Lake 100 

35.  Mud  Puff,  Yellowstone  River lOO 

36.  Mud  Pot,  Lower  Fire  Hole  basin 103 

37.  Crater  of  Thud  Geyser,  Lower  Fire  Hole 105 

38.  Fountain  Geyser,  Lower  Fire  Hole , 106 

39.  Mud  Puff,  Lower  Fire  Hole 107 

40.  Overflow  down  ravine  from  Steady  Geyser 108 

41.  Architectural  Fountain,  Lower  Geyser  basin 100 

42.  White  Dome,  Lower  Geyser  basin 110 

43.  Steady  Geyser,  Lower  Fire  Hole Ill 

44.  Catfish  Geyser 112 

45.  Riverside  Geyser,  Upper  Geyser  basin 113 

46.  Great  Spring,  Fire  Hole  River 115 

47.  Grand  Geyser 116 

48.  Grand  Geyser,  Upper  basin,  Fire  Hole  River 117 

49.  Crater  Forms,  Fire  Hole  basin , 118 

50.  The  Bath  Tub 118 

51.  Punch  Bowl  No.  1 119 

52.  Dental  Oup 119 

53.  Punch  Bowl  No.  2 120 

54.  Fungiform  silica 121 

55.  Spongiform  or  cauliflower  silica 121 

56.  Pearly  silica 122 

57.  Spongiform  or  cauliflower  silica 122 


58.  The  Giant 123 

59.  TheGiantess 124 

GO.  The  Bee-Hive 125 

61.  Still  Hot  Spring  and  Pyramid,  Upper  Geyser  basin 125 

62.  Old  Faithful,  Upper  Geyser  basin 126 

63.  Ideal  section  Upper  Geyser  basin 127 

64.  Sections  of  coal-bed  at  Evanston,  Utah 194 

Dibothrium  Cordiceps 381 

Plate  I.  Orthoptera 

Plate  II.  Orthoptera 


White  Mountain  Hot  Springs,  Gardiner's  Eiver 64 

Yellowstone  Lake 101 

Lower  Geyser  basin,  Fire  Hole  Eiver 104 

Upper  Geyser  basin,  Fire  Hole  Eiver 113 

Yellowstone  National  Park 162 


Washington,  D.  0.,  February  20,  1872. 

Sm :  In  accordance  with  your  instructions,  based  upon  the  act  of  the 
Forty-first  Congress,  authorizing  the  continuation  of  the  geological  survey 
of  the  Territories  of  the  United  States,  I  have  the  honor  to  submit  my 
fifth  annual  report  of  progress. 

As  soon  as  the  season  was  sufficiently  far  advanced  to  admit  of  explor- 
ations in  the  mountain  districts,  I  dispatched  my  principal  assistant, 
Mr.  James  Stevenson,  to  Omaha  and  Cheyenne,  to  make  the  necessary 
preparations  and  secure  the  outfit. 

My  party  was  organized  as  follows :  James  Stevenson,  managing 
director;  Henry  W.  Elliott,  artist ;  Prof.  Cyrus  Thomas,  agricultural  statis- 
tician and  entomologist ;  Anton  Schonborn,  chief  topographer ;  A.  J. 
Smith,  assistant ;  William  H.  Jackson,  photographer  -,  George  B.  Dixon, 
assistant ;  J.  W.  Beaman,  meteorologist ;  Prof.  G.  !N".  Allen,  botanist ; 
Eobt.  Adams,  jr.,  assistant;  Dr.  A.  C.  Beale,  mineralogist;  Dr.  C.  S. 
Turnbull,  physician ;  Campbell  Carrington,  in  charge  of  zoological  collec- 
tions; William  B.  Logan,  secretary;  F.  J.  Huse,  Chester  M.  Dawes,  C. 
De  V.  JSTegley,  and  J.  W.  Duncan,  general  assistants.  Mr.  Thomas  Mo-  t 
ran,  a  distinguished  artist  from  PhiladeliDhia,  accompanied  the  party  as 
guest,  to  secure  studies  of  the  remarkable  scenery  of  the  Yellowstone. 
In  addition  to  the  above,  there  were  about  fifteen  men  who  acted  as 
teamsters,  laborers,  cooks,  or  hunters.  The  greater  portion  of  our  out- 
fit was  obtained  of  the  United  States  quartermaster,  Colonel  C.  A.  Eey- 
nolds,  at  Fort  D.  A.  Russell,  Wyoming  Territory.  Horses,  mules, 
wagons,  and  all  other  equipments  were  placed  on  freight-cars  and  taken 
by  rail  to  Ogden,  Utah.    Here  our  journey  began. 

About  June  1,  leaving  Ogden,  we  passed  along  the  shore  of  Salt  Lake  to 
WillardCity,  thence  through  the  Wasatch  Range  to  Cache  Yalley,  thence 
up  the  valley  to  the  divide,  between  the  waters  of  the  Salt  Lake  Basin  and 
those  of  Snake  River.  A  careful  survey  of  the  valley  was  made,  and  fre- 
quent trips  into  the  mountains  on  either  side  were  taken.  We  then 
descended  Marsh  Creek  to  the  Snake  River  Basin  and  Fort  Hall.  Here  we 
rested  for  two  days,  to  recruit  our  animals  and  make  the  necessary  repairs, 
and  then  followed  the  stage-road  to  Virginia  junction.  We  then  left  the 
stage-road  to  the  westward,  taking  an  old  road,  crossed  Blacktail  Deer 
Creek  near  its  source,  thence  down  Stinking  Water  to  Virginia  City.  We 
then  crossed  the  divide  eastward  to  the  Madison  river,  descended  the  valley 
about  thirty  miles,  land  crossed  over  the  other  divide  to  Fort  Ellis,  at  the 
head  of  the  Gallatin  Valley.    A  narrow  belt  was  thus  surveyed,  con- 


necting  tlie  Pacific  Eailroacl  witb  the  Yellowstone  Basin,  Our  principal 
field  of  operation.  From  Fort  Ellis,  we  passed  eastward  over  tlie  divide, 
between  the  drainage  of  the  Missouri  and  Yellowstone,  to  Bottler's 
Eanch.  Here  we  established  a  permanent  camp,  leaving  all  our  wagons 
and  a  portion  of  the  i)arty.  A  careful  system  of  meteorological  obser- 
vations was  kept  at  this  locality  for  six  weeks.  From  Bottler's  Eanch 
we  proceeded  up  the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone,  surveyed  the  remark- 
able hot  springs  on  Gardiner's  Eiver,  the  Grand  Caiion,  Tower  Falls, 
Upper  and  Lower  Falls  of  the  Yellowstone,  thence  into  the  basin  proper, 
prepared  charts  of  all  the  Hot  Spring  groups,  which  were  very  numer- 
ous, and  continued  up  the  river  to  the  lake.  We  then  commenced  a  syste- 
matic survey  of  the  lakd  and  its  surroundings.  Mr.  Schonborn,  with  his 
assistant,  made  a  careful  survey  of  the  lake  and  the  mountains  from  the 
shore,  and  Messrs.  Elliott  and  Carriugton  surveyed  and  sketched  its 
shore-lines  from  the  water  in  a  boat.  Careful  soundings  were  also  made, 
and  the  greatest  depth  was  found  to  be  three  hundred  feet.  From  the  lake 
I  proceeded,  with  Messrs.  Schonborn,  Peale,  and  Elliott  to  the  Fire-Hole 
Valley,  by  way  of  East  Fork  of  the  Madison ;  then  ascended  the  Fire-Hole 
Valley.  We  made  careful  charts  of  the  Lower  and  Upper  Geyser  Basin, 
locating  all  the  principal  springs,  and  determining  their  temperatures. 
We  then  returned  over  the  mountains  by  way  of  the  head  of  Fire-Hole 
Eiver,  explored  Madison  Lake,  Heart  Lake,  &c.  After  having  completed 
our  survey  of  the  lake,  we  crossed  over  on  to  the  headwaters  of  the  East 
Fork  by  way  of  the  valley  of  Pelican  Creek,  explored  the  East  Fork  to  its 
junction  with  the  main  Yellowstone,  and  thence  to  Bottler's  Eanch,  which 
we  reached  on  the  28th  of  August.  From  this  place  we  passed  down  the 
Yellowstone,  through  the  lower  caiion,  to  the  mouth  of  Shield's  Eiver,  to 
connect  our  work  with  that  of  Col.  Wm.  F.  Eay nold  s,  in  1860.  From  there 
we  returned  to  Fort  Ellis.  From  this  point  I  desired  to  examine  a  belt 
southward  to  the  Union  Pacific  Eailroad,  that  should  connect,  as  far  as 
possible,  with  the  belt  explored  on  our  way  up  to  Fort  Ellis  in  June. 
We  therefore  passed  down  the  Gallatin  Valley  to  the  junction  of  the 
Three  Forks,  thence  up  the  Jefferson  Fork  to  the  Beaver  Head  branch, 
then  up  the  Beaver  Head  to  Horse  Plain  Creek,  uj)  the  latter  creek  to 
the  main  Eocky  Mountain  divide,  thence  across  to  the  headwaters  of 
the  Medicine  Lodge  Creek  into  the  Snake  Eiver  basin  and  Fort  Hall. 
From  Fort  Hall  we  struck  across  the  mountains  between  Black-Foot 
Creek  and  the  source  of  the  Port  Neuf  to  Soda  Springs,  at  the  head  of 
Bear  Eiver;  examined  the  Soda  Spring  district,  and  passed  up  the  valley 
of  Bear  Eiver,  by  way  of  Bear  Lake,  to  Evanston,  on  the  Union  Pacific 
Eailroad.  At  this  point  the  party  was  disbanded,  most  of  them  re- 
turning to  their  homes.  A  portion  of  the  month  of  October  was  occu- 
pied in  reviewing  points  of  geological  interest  along  the  railroad. 

Extensive  collections  in  geology,  mineralogy,  botany,  and  all  depart- 
ments of  natural  history  were  made,  some  account  of  which  is  given  in 
subsequent  portions  of  this  report. 


Although  my  party  the  past  season  was  unusually  large,  involving 
increased  labor  and  responsibility  in  its  management,  I  gladly  bear  testi. 
mouy  to  the  uniform  zeal  and  interest  of  the  members  in  its  success. 

My  principal  assistant,  Mr.  James  Stevenson,  labored  with  his  usual 
efficiencj^  and  fidelity  throughout  the  entire  trip.  In  honor  of  his  great 
services  not  only  during  the  past  season,  but  for  over  twelve  years 
of  unremitting  toil  as  my  assistant,  oftentimes  without  pecuniary 
reward,  and  with  little  of  the  scientific  recognition  that  usually  comes 
to  the  original  explorer,  I  have  desired  that  one  of  the  principal  islands 
of  the  lake  and  one  of  the  noble  peaks  reflected  in  its  clear  waters  should 
bear  his  name  forever. 

Mr.  Elliott  labored  with  his  usual  zeal  and  efficiency,  and,  besides  great 
numbers  of  sketches,  he  constructed  sections  of  the  entire  routes  traversed 
during  the  season.  Assisted  by  Mr.  Carrington,  he  made  the  circuit  of 
the  lake  in  our  little  boat,  and  sketched  the  entire  shore-line  with  care- 
Mr.  William  H.  Jackson  performed  his  duties  with  great  zeal,  and  the 
results  of  his  labors  have  been  and  will  continue  to  be  of  the  highest 
value.  During  the  season  he  obtained  nearly  400  negatives  of  the 
remarkable  scenery  of  the  routes,  as  well  as  the  canon,  falls,  lakes,  gey- 
sers, and  hot  springs  of  the  Yellowstone  Basin,  and  they  have  proved^ 
since  our  return,  of  very  great  value  in  the  preparation  of  the  maps  and 
rep  or  t- 

Dr.  C.  S.  Turnbull  acted  as  physician  and  general  assistant,  and  by 
his  great  fidelity  in  the  performance  of  his  duties  rendered  himself  a 
useful  and  valued  meniber  of  the  party. 

Mr.  Campbell  Garrington  had  charge  of  the  zoological  collections  dur- 
ing the  years  ISfO  and  1871,  and  performed  his  duties  with  great  zeal 
and  efficiency.  His  collections  of  fish  and  reptiles  are  quite  complete. 
He  was  assisted  by  Messrs.  Dawes,  Logan,  Kegley,  and  Duncan. 

The  reports  of  Professor  Thomas  and  Dr.  Peale,  which  are  herewith 
appended,  will  speak  for  themselves.  Prof.  G-.  JST.  Allen  acted  as  botan- 
ist with  great  success,  as  far  aS  Fort  Ellis,  and  was  assisted  by  Mr. 
Eobert  Adams.  After  Prof.  Allen's  departure,  Mr.  Adams  took  charge 
of  the  botanical  collections.  The  report  of  Prof.  Porter  will  show  the 
results  of  their  labors  in  the  field. 

The  loss  of  my  chief  topographer,  Mr.  Anton  Schoiiborn,  whose  death 
occurred  at  Omaha  after  he  had  returned  from  the  trip,  with  the  notes 
which  he  had  taken  with  zeal  and  ability,  seemed  almost  irreparable. 
On  my  arrival  at  Washington  I  applied  to  Prof.  J.  E.  Hilgard,the  able 
assistant  in  charge  of  the  United  States  Coast  Survey  Office,  for  aid  in 
my  extremity.  With  his  usual  sympathy  and  prompt  action  in  all  mat- 
ters pertaining  to  science,  he  at  once  placed  Mr.  Schonborn's  field-uoteg 
into  the  hands  of  Mr.  E.  Hergesheimer,  in  charge  of  the  engraving  di- 
vision of  the  Coast  Survey,  and  the  result  has  been  that  Mr.  Herges- 
heimer has  compiled  and  drawn  a  series  of  maps  and  charts  of  the  sur- 
vey, whose  beauty  and  accuracy  attest  his  skill  as  a  topographer.    Prof. 


Eeuel  Keith,  of  the  Survey,  computed  the  observations  for  latitude 
aud  time.  Mr.  Beaman  has  been  permitted  to  consult  from  time  to  time 
with  Mr.  Charles  A.  Schott,  in  the  preparation  of  the  meteorological 
report.  I  cannot  too  earnestly  exi^ress  my  obligations  to  the  officers  of 
the  Coast  Survey  for  their  aid  and  counsel. 

In  all  my  previous  reports  1  have  acknowledged  my  obligations  to 
the  military  authorities  for  favors  of  great  value.  Armed  with  orders 
from  the  honorable  Secretary  of  War,  General  Belknap,  upon  the 
military  posts  of  the  West  for  such  assistance  as  could  be  afforded 
without  detriment  to  the  service,  my  whole  party  was  everywhere 
received  with  marked  kindness  and  generosity.  The  outfit  obtained 
from  Colonel  C.  A.  Reynolds,  of  Fort  D.  A.  Eussell,  Wyoming 
Territory,  was  even  greater  and  more  complete  than  that  of  the  pre- 
ceding year,  and  the  aid  which  both  himself  and  his  subordinates 
cheerfully  gave  us,  formed  one  of  the  most  important  elements  of  our 
success.  An  outfit  so  suitable  for  our  purpose  could  not  have  been  pur- 
chased in  the  country  outside  of  the  Quartermaster's  Department,  how- 
ever great  our  appropriation.  We  were  also  permitted  to  purchase 
commissary  stores  at  cost  with  transportation  included.  The  amount  of 
time  and  money  saved  to  the  General  Government,  as  well  as  the  char- 
acter of  the  outfit,  render  these  favors  essential  to  the  complete  success 
of  a  party  exploring  the  remote  sections  of  the  interior  of  our  continent. 
We  are  also  saved  from  extortionate  demands  that  might  be  made  on  us 
in  case  of  an  emergency  which  may  at  any  time  occur.  At  Fort  Ellis 
we  were  indebted  more  or  less  to  all  the  officers  of  the  post  for  courte- 
sies, but  I  beg  to  make  special  mention  of  Captain  J.  Q.  Ball,  who  was  in 
command  in  the  absence  of  Colonel  Baker,  on  our  arrival  there.  Cap- 
tain Ball  at  once  gave  us  all  the  assistance  that  could  be  afforded  by 
the  post,  and  the  benefit  of  his  long  experience  in  western  life,  in  the 
completing  of  our  equipments.  On  our  return  to  Fort  Ellis  we  were 
much  aided  by  Captain  L.  C.  Forsyth,  quartermaster  of  tlie  post. 
By  orders  of  Generals  Sheridan  and  Hancock,  one  company  of  the 
Second  Cavalry,  under  the  command  of  Captain  Tyler  and  Lieu- 
tenant Grugan,  was  directed  to  escort  the  party,  under  the  direc- 
tion of  Colonel  J.  W.  Barlow  and  Captain  D.  P.  Heap,  United 
States  Engineer  Corps,  and  the  party  under  my  charge.  Captain 
Tyler  and  Lieutenant  Grugan  remained  with  us  until  we  reached  the 
Yellowstone  Lake,  when  they  were  ordered  to  return  to  Fort  Ellis,  and 
Lieutenant  G.  C.  Doane  was  directed  to  take  their  place.  I  wish  here 
to  thank  Captain  Tyler  and  Lieutenant  Grugan  for  unvarying  courtesy 
and  a  desire  to  advance  the  objects  of  our  expedition  in  every  way  dur- 
ing their  stay  with  us.  Lieutenant  Doane  reached  us  at  our  camp  ou 
the  southwest  shore  of  the  lake,  and  from  that  period  to  the  time  of  our 
return  to  Fort  Ellis  we  received  the  benefit  of  his  experience  of  the  pre- 
vious year. 

From  Captain  J.  E.  Putnam  and  Lieutenant  Wilson,  of  Fort  Hall,  my 


entire  party  were  the  recipients  of  all  the  assistance  we  needed  or 
the  post  could  supply.  To  my  excellent  friend,  General  H.  A.  Morrow, 
in  command  of  Camp  Douglas,  Utah,  1  am  indebted  for  many  favors, 
not  only  as  an  officer  of  the  Army,  but  as  an  earnest  and  successful  stu- 
dent of  geology,  in  the  form  of  valuable  specimens  and  much  informa- 
tion. To  the  officers  of  the  railroads  and  stage-lines  my  party  was 
much  indebted  the  past  season.  To  Mr.  Bradley  Barlow,  and  Gilmer  and 
Salisbury,  proprietors  of  the  stage-routes  in  Idaho  and  Montana,  our 
thanks  are  due  for  passes  for  two  persons. 

I  beg  to  call  the  special  attention  of  the  Department  to  the  great 
generosity  of  the  officers  of  the  Union  Pacific  Eailroad,  Hon.  Thomas 
A.  Scott,  president,  and  General  T.  E.  Sickels,  superintendent,  for  free 
transportation  for  my  entire  party  from  Omaha  to  Ogden,  and  return. 
Mr.  H.  Brownson,  general  freight-agent  of  the  Union  Pacific  Railroad, 
ordered  our  freight  to  be  carried  at  reduced  rates.  My  thanks  are  also 
due  to  the  officers  of  the  Central  Pacific  Eailroad  for  free  passes  for 
several  members  of  my  party. 

It  would  not  be  possible  to  mention  by  name,  all  the  kind  friends  in 
the  West  who  showed  my  party  valuable  attentions.  With  scarcely  an 
exception,  we  were  received  with  great  favor  in  every  portion  of  the 
country.  I  would  express  my  thanks  to  Hon.  B.  F.  Potts,  governor  of 
Montana,  Hon.  H.  L.  Hosmer,  Hon.  J.  Y.  Lovell,  of  Virginia  City,  and 
many  others. 

I  wish  also  to  express  my  obligations  to  the  gentlemen  connected 
with  the  press,  who  have  never  failed  to  recognize  the  importance  of 
these  surveys  in  the  development  of  our  western  Territories. 

I  desire  to  acknowledge  the  numerous  favors  and  aid  which  have 
always  been  extended  to  myself  and  party  in  all  our  labors  by 
Professors  Henry  and  Baird,  of  the  Smithsonian  Institution,  and  to  the 
Engineer  Bureau  of  the  Army,  for  the  use  of  their  valuable  maps  for 
several  years  past. 

To  the  editors  of  Scribner's  Monthly,  who  have  done  and  are  continu- 
ing to  do  so  much  to  spread  a  knowledge  of  the  remarkable  scenery  and 
resources  of  the  far  West  among  the  people,  I  am  under  obligations 
for  the  use  of  some  of  the  finest  wood-cuts  illustrating  this  report. 

As  far  back  as  1856,  when  the  writer  was  connected  with  the  explor- 
ing expedition  to  the  Lower  Yellowstone,  under  the  command  of  Gen- 
eral G.  K.  Warren,  of  the  United  States  Engineer  Corps,  it  was  the  plan 
of  that  accomplished  engineer  and  geographer  to  penetrate  the  unknown 
but  marvelous  region  of  the  Yellowstone  Basin.  Wonderful  tales,  that 
had  sharpened  the  curiosity  of  the  whole  party,  were  related  by  our  guide, 
Mr.  James  Bridger.  An  expedition  was  planned  by  General  Warren 
for  the  years  1859  and  1860,  which  contemplated  the  exploration  of 
this  region  as  the  objective  point;  but  he  was  superseded  in  command 
by  Colonel  Wm.  P.  Eaynolds,  of  the  United  States  Engineer  Corps.  The 
writer  was  also  connected  with  that  expedition  as  geologist.    Every 


effort  was  made  by  Colonel  Eaynolds  to  cross  the  snow-covered  sum- 
mits of  the  Wind  Kiver  Mountains,  but  without  success.  In  the  summer 
of  1869,  a  small  party,  under  Messrs.  Cook  and  Folsom,  ascended  the 
Valley  of  the  Yellowstone,  to  the  lake,  and  crossed  over  the  divide 
into  the  Geyser  Basin  of  the  Madison. 

In  the  summer  of  1870,  a  second  party,  under  General  Washburn, 
surveyor  general  of  Montana,  visited  that  country.  Mr.  N.  P.  Langford, 
a  member  of  the  party,  gave,  in  the  May  and  June  numbers,  1871,  of 
Scribner's  Monthly,  most  glowing  accounts  of  the  marvelous  wonders. 
These  articles  called  the  attention  of  the  whole  country  to  that  remarka- 
ble region.  Lieutenant  G.  C.  Doane,  Second  Cavalry,  United  States 
Army,  accompanied  the  party  in  command  of  a  small  escort,  and  made 
an  official  report  of  the  trip  to  General  Hancock,  who  forwarded  it  to 
the  honorable  Secretary  of  War,  General  Belknap,  who  at  once  trans- 
mitted it  to  Congress,  with  a  request  that  it  be  printed.  I  desire 
the  attention  of  the  public  to  the  remarltable  report  of  this  young  officer, 
which  he  seems  to  have  written  under  the  inspiration  of  the  wonder- 
ful physical  phenomena  around  him.  The  report  is  a  modest  pamphlet 
of  40  pages,  yet  I  venture  to  state  as  my  opinion,  that  for  graphic  de- 
scription and  thrilling  interest  it  has  not  been  surpassed  by  any  official 
report  made  to  our  Government  since  the  times  of  Lewis  and  Clarke. 

Colonel  J.  W.  Barlow,  United  States  Engineer  Corps,  on  General 
Sheridan's  staff,  and  Captain  D.  P.  Heap,  United  States  Engineer  Corps, 
on  General  Hancock's  staff,  made  an  exploration  of  the  Yellowstone 
Basin  during  the  past  season,  the  results  of  which  will  doubtless  soon 
be  given  to  the  public  in  an  official  form.  A  very  interesting  and  in- 
structive abstract  has  already  appeared  in  the  Chicago  Journal  of 
January  13. 

In  attaching  names  to  the  many  mountain-peaks,  new  streams,  and 
other  geographical  localities,  the  discovery  of  which  falls  to  the  pleas- 
ant lot  of  the  explorer  in  the  untrodden  wilds  of  the  West,  I  have  fol- 
lowed the  rigid  law  of  priority,  and  given  the  orie  by  which  they  have 
been  generally  known  among  the  people  of  the  country,  whether  whites 
or  Indians ;  but  if,  as  is  often  the  case,  no  suitable  descriptive  name 
can  be  secured  from  the  surroundings,  a  personal  one  may  then  be 
attached,  and  the  names  of  eminent  men  who  have  identified  them- 
selves with  the  great  cause,  either  in  the  fields  of  science  or  legislation, 
naturally  rise  first  in  the  mind. 

The  wisdom  of  the  policy  of  publishing  for  the  people  the  immediate 
results  of  my  surveys,  in  the  form  of  annual  reports,  even  though  some- 
what crude,  has  received  emphatic  sanction  by  the  great  demand  for 
them  in  past  years  and  the  general  satisfaction  they  have  given.  I 
have,  therefore,  made  them  the  receptacle  of  a  mass  of  observations  on 
the  local  geology  of  the  routes  which  I  cannot  introduce  into  a  more 
elaborate  final  report.  The  attempt,  also,  to  give  to  these  annual  reports 
a  somewhat  popular  as  well  as  scientific  cast  has  met  with  the  cordial 


approval  of  the  students  of  geology  and  natural  history  all  over  the 
country.  I  trust,  therefore,  that  they  may  be  continued  from  year  to 
year,  as  long  as  the  survey  shall  j-eceive  the  sanction  of  the  G-overn- 

The  annual  report  will  contain  catalogues  of  species  which  will  be 
useful  in  determining  the  geographical  distribution  of  plants  and  ani- 
mals in  the  West,  the  meteorological  observations,  and  all  the  notes  of 
a  more  practical  character  on  the  agricultural  and  mining  resources,  &c. 

The  final  reports  will  be  in  quarto  form,  and  will  contain  only  the  new 
and  little-known  species  of  that  region  requiring  detailed  description 
and  illustration,  the  general  geology,  with  maps,  sections,  and  other 

The  type  series  of  the  collections  in  all  departments  are  arranged  in  the 
museum  of  the  Smithsonian  Institution,  according  to  act  of  Congress. 

The  duplicate  specimens  are  then  separated  into  sets,  and  distributed 
to  the  various  museums  and  institutions  of  learning  in  our  country. 

I  would  respectfully  call  the  attention  of  the  Secretary  to  the  names 
of  men  eminent  in  the  scientific  world,  connected  with  the  special  arti- 
cles in  my  annual  report  of  this  year  as  well  as  that  of  last  year.  The 
investigations  of  such  men  as  Leidy,  Cope,  Lesquereux,  Kewberrry,  Meek, 
Porter,  Uhler,  Horn,  and  Edwards,  will  give  to  these  reports  a  lasting  value 
for  all  time.  These  gentlemen  have  generously  consented  to  become  col- 
laborators for  the  final  reports,  and  are  now  preparing  memoirs  on  special 
branches,  which  will  form  solid  and  permanent  contributions  to  knowl- 
edge. The  obligations  to  these  gentlemen  are  increased  from  the  fact 
that  the  greater  part  of  the  work  is  a  "  labor  of  love,"  without  any  com- 
pensation from  the  Government. 

In  conclusion,  I  beg  permission  to  extend  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Inte- 
rior and  to  General  B.  E.  Cowen,  Assistant  Secretary,  my  most  grateful 
thanks  for  the  generous  facilities  they  have  i)laced  at  my  command,  and 
for  the  kindly  interest  they  have  ever  felt  in  the  progress  of  the  work. 
If  these  explorations  in  the  far  West  shall  tend  to  the  honor  of  our 
country  or  to  the  increase  of  human  knowledge,  the  main  object  will  be 

Very  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant, 

F.  V.  HAYDET^r, 

United  States  Geologist. 

Hon.  C.  Delano, 

Secretary  of  the  Interior.     . 

PA.RT    I. 












Page  29,  sixteenth  line  from  the  bottom,  for  "Hole  in  the  Wall"  read  "Hole  in  the 
Page  64,  twenty-fourth  line  from  the  top,  for  "  estsary  "  read  "  estuary." 
Page  71,  third  line  from  the  top,  after  "flow  from?'  read  "it." 
Page  72,  thirty-first  line  from  the  top,  for  "  150"  read  "  1,500." 
Page  73,  fifteenth  line  from  the  top,  for  "cleaving"  read  "dissolving." 




In  my  previous  reports  I  have  endeavored  to  present  such  facts  in  re- 
gard to  the  geology  of  the  country  lying  between  Omaha  and  Salt  Lake 
as  my  time  and  opportunities  have  enabled  me  to  secure.  In  a  subse- 
quent chapter  I  shall  pass  this  region  again  under  review,  adding  such 
new  matter  as  the  investigations  of  the  -pRst  seasons  have  brought  to 

In  order  that  the  results  of  the  explorations  of  1871  might  be  con- 
nected with  those  of  preceding  years,  it  was  thought  best  to  make  Ogden 
the  point  of  departure.  The  latitude  and  longitude  of  Salt  Lake  City 
are  probably  as  well  fixed  as  those  of  any  point  west  of  the  Mississippi. 
The  elevations  taken  along  the  line  of  the  Pacific  Eailroad  were  as- 
sumed to  be  correct,  and  the  geography  as  well  as  the  geology  of  Salt 
Lake  Valley  were  known  in  general  terms.  Our  camp  was  located  on  a 
middle  terrace  one  mile  east  of  Ogden  Junction,  at  an  elevation  above 
tide-water  of  4,517  feet.  Extending  along  the  eastern  side  of  the  valley, 
with  a  trend  nearly  north  and  south,  is  a  lofty  and  picturesque  range  of 
mountains — the  northern  section  of  the  Wahsatch  Range.  Far  south- 
ward, beyond  the  southern  end  of  the  Great  Salt  Lake,  these  mountains 
seem  to  extend,  apparently  growing  more  lofty  and  more  picturesque,  a 
gigantic  wall  inclosing  one  of  the  most  beautiful  valleys  in  the  West. 
From  the  terraces,  which  form  a  conspicuous  feature  along  the  base  of 
these  mountains,  one  can  obtain  a  full  view  of  the  wonderful  body  of 
water  which  has  given  name  and  character  to  this  region.  I  will  not 
attempt  here  to  describe  the  scenic  beauty  of  this  region  5  it  has  already 
been  done  many  times  5  it  must  be  seen  by  the  traveler  to  be  understood, 
and  once  impressed  upon  the  mind  it  becomes  a  perpetual  pleasure 

The  discussion  of  the  Post  Pliocene  deposits  and  other  prominent  geo- 
logical features  of  this  valley  is  reserved  for  a  subsequent  portion  of 
this  report.  It  is  my  purpose  at  this  time  simply  to  note  the  impres- 
sions obtained  of  the  geological  structure  of  the  country  from  point  to 
point  in  the  journey  northward  from  Ogden  to  the  valley  of  the  Yellow- 

The  range  of  mountains  which  form  so  conspicuous  and  attractive  a 
feature  along  the  eastern  shore  of  the  lake,  and  north  from  Ogden,  is 
composed  mostly  of  quartzites  and  limestones,  which  present  excellent 
examples  of  stratification.  Just  in  the  rear  of  our  camp  there  is  an 
illustration  in  which  a  thousand  feet  or  more  of  layers  of  quartzite,  vary- 
ing from  a  few  inches  to  several  feet  in  thickness,  are  bent  in  the  form  of 
an  arch  (Pig.  1)  as  if  the  force  had  been  applied  from  beneath,  near  the 
central  portions,  but  that  the  sides  or  ends  had  lopped  down  for  want  of 
support.  There  are  many  examples  of  these  peculiar  features  in  this 
range,  produced  by  local  influences,  but  connected  with  the  general 



forces  that  elevated  the  entire  range.    These  mountains  appear  to  the 
eye,  in  viewing  them  from  the  valley,  as  if  they  had  been  thrust  up  out 

of  the  plains.  The 
sides  are  very  abrupt, 
in  many  instances  va- 
rying but  little  from  a 
vertical.  So  far  as  I 
could  study  them, 
north  of  Ogden  they 
form  a  monoclinal,  the 
eastern  side  shown  in 
its  full  development, 
and  all  the  rocks  having 
a  general  dip  to  the 
east,  or  nearly  so.  The 
ff  abruptness  or  steep- 
ness of  the  west  side 
f  toward  the  lake  is  un- 
I  doubtedly  due  to  this 
fact,  as  the  outcrop- 
ping edges  of  the  stratai 
are  clearly  shown  on 
the  side  toward  the 
lake,  while  to  the  east- 
ward the  ridges  of  up- 
heaval extend  for  miles, 
gradually  sloping  to 
the  plains.  Whether 
the  west  portion  was 
ever  elevated  or  has 
been  removed  by  ero- 
sion is  not  clearly  re- 
vealed. This  problem 
will  be  discussed  at 
another  time.  Where 
the  Weber  Ei  ver  passes 
through  the  Wahsatch 
Mountains  a  nucleus  of 
gneiss  is  exposed,  but 
in  this  portion  of  the 
range  the  granitic  or 
gneissic  rock  is  exposed 
only  in  a  few  localities, 
and  then  only  to  a  lim- 
ited extent.  These 
examples  are  suffi- 
cient to  show  that  the 
quartzites,  limestones, 
and  other  sedimentary 
rocks  above  rest  upon 
what  we  have  regarded 
as  well-defined  meta- 
morphic  rocks  similar 
Oii;^'  to  the  nuclei  of  other 
mountain  ranges.  A  few  instances  occur  of  igneous  outbursts,  like 
those  in  the  southern  extension  of  the  Wahsatch  Mountains,  but  very 


limited  in  extent.  The  lowest  bed  of  quartzites  resting  upon  the  granit- 
oid rocks  I  have  estimated  to  be  1,500  to  2,000  feet  in  thickness.  It  has 
a  very  brittle  fracture,  although  so  hard  and  compact,  usually  very  fine, 
and,  to  the  naked  eye,  without  grain,  but  it  is  sometimes  composed  of 
an  aggregate  of  water-worn  pebbles,  mostly  quite  small,  or  crystals  of 
quartz.  This  lower  bed  has  evidently  been  more  or  less  changed  by 
heat,  and  the  external  evidence  of  change  grows  fainter  as  we  proceed 
up  from  the  quartzites  into  the  limestones,  until  all  traces  of  it  disappear. 
In  regard  to  the  age  of  these  quartzites  there  is  much  obscurity.  So  far 
as  my  own  investigations  are  concerned,  I  only  know  that  they  attained 
a  great  thickness — that  they  seem  to  form  the  lower  portion  of  the  shaly 
sedimentary  rocks  of  this  region.  The  discovery  of  the  well-known 
Silurian  coral,  Halysites  cateniUaria,  in  the  last  bed  of  limestone,  points 
to  a  Silurian  horizon.  The  texture  of  the  rocks  in  these  mountain 
ranges  renders  the  discovery  of  fossils  in  great  numbers  and  in  a  good 
state  of  preservation  quite  doubtful.  We  shall  wait  for  the  report  of 
the  more  careful  investigations  under  the  direction  of  Mr.  Clarence 
King.  The  Carboniferous  group  in  this  region  is  well  defined  by  its  fos- 
sils,.and,  I  have  no  doubt  that  the  Silurian  and  Devonian  are  well  repre- 
sented. It  may  be  that  all  the  lower  quartzites  should  be  embraced  in 
the  Silurian.  If  opportunity  presents,  I  hope  to  discuss  these  obscure 
points  more  in  detail  in  the  closing  chapter  of  this  report. 

The  same  remarkable  illustrations  of  mud-flats  and  shallow  water 
deposits  as  occur  in  the  quartzites  of  the  Uintah  Mountains  are 
seen  here.  Some  of  the  layers  are  closely  crowded  with  rather  coarse 
fucoidal  stems  or  roots,  suggesting  the  Devonian  age.  As  is  quite  well 
shown  on  our  maps,  the  ranges  of  mountains  west  of  longitude  111° 
have  a  trend  nearly  north  and  south,  or  perhaps,  more  accurately,  west 
of  north  and  east  of  south.  Many  of  the  little  streams  that  empty  into 
the  lake  pass  through  the  Wahsatch  Eange  at  right  angles,  or  nearly 
so,  thus  forming  the  deep  and  picturesque  canons  for  which  this  basin 
is  so  remarkable.  Cross-sections  of  the  mountains  are  thus  exposed, 
enabling  the  geologist  to  work  out  with  considerable  clearness  the  order 
of  superposition  of  the  beds ;  though,  with  all  these  advantages,  it  is 
not  always  an  easy  task.  Sometimes  the  strata  are  much  crushed  and 
folded,  or  concealed  by  recent  deposits  or  debris. 

On  the  morning  of  June  4,  I  made  an  exploration  up  Ogden  Canon, 
which  forms  an  excellent  example  of  the  cross-sections  referred  to  above. 
A  fine  creek  about  30  feet  wide  and  3  to  5  feet  deep  has  cut  a  channel 
through  the  mountain  and  its  ridges.  The  stream,  as  it  comes  out  of 
the  mountain  on  the  west  side,  opens  into  a  broad  grassy  valley,  thickly 
settled  by  farmers,  and  joins  the  Weber  Eiver  about  five  miles  dis- 
tant. Five  miles  from  the  entrance  of  the  canon  to  the  eastward  there 
is  an  expansion  of  the  valley,  with  table-like  terraces  on  the  north  side, 
on  one  of  which  a  Mormon  village  is  located.  The  terraces  are  30  to  50 
feet  above  the  bed  of  the  creek.  On  the  northeast  side  of  this  valley  are 
hills  800  to  1,000  feet  high,  composed  of  arenaceous  clays,  with  some 
beds  of  limestone,  while  east  and  southeast  are  numerous  ridges  of 
limestones  with  corals  and  other  fossils,  showing  them  to  be  of  Car- 
boniferous age.  The  north  and  northeast  sides  of  the  hills  are  rounded 
and  sloping,  and  covered  with  coarse  bunch-grass  and  small  bushes. 
The  valley  is  full  of  springs  and  meadow-like  areas.  The  scenery  can 
hardly  be  surpassed  in  any  country  for  wild,  picturesque  beauty.  The 
character  of  the  rocks  in  the  order  of  superposition  does  not  differ  mate- 
rially from  those  exposed  in  the  valley  of  the  Weber  Eiver,  along  the  line 
of  the  Union  Pacific  Eailroad.    There  are  the  Tertiary  beds  of  the  Wah- 



satch  group  about  the  sources  of  Ogden  Creek ;  then  the  low  Jurassic 
ridges,  inclining  10°  to  15°,  gradually  passing  down  into  sandstones, 
quartziteSjthen  arenaceouslimestones,changing  gradually  to  pure  massive 
limestones  of  Carboniferous  age.  As  we  pass  down  the  canon  from  Ogden 
Yalley,  or,  as  it  is  named  on  our  maps,  Ogden  Hole,  Ave  observe  the 
Carboniferous  limestones  rising  like  high,  nearly  vertical,  walls  on  either 
side,  at  first  inclining  about  8°,  within  ten  miles  dipping  20°  to  30°,  and 
1,500  to  2,000  feet  in  thickness.  In  these  limestones  are  some  remarkable 
illustrations  of  the  folding  of  the  strata,  (Fig.  2.)  In  one  locality  there  is  a 

Fig.    2. 


group  of  strata,  perfectly  cross-sectioned  by  the  stream,  300  feet  long 
and  200  feet  high  at  the  thickest  end,  in  the  shape  of  a  huge  wedge. 
Underneath  these  limestones  comes  a  yellowish-gray  quartzite,  which 
forms  a  portion  of  a  ridge  inclining  20°  to  25°.  A  small  gulch  inter- 
venes, and  the  next  ridge  runs  up  like  a  cone  with  a  dip  northeast  55°, 
and  the  strata  are  brought  out  remarkably  clear,  with  a  height  of  1,500 
to  2,000  feet ;  beneath  the  quartzite  is  another  bed  of  brittle  limestone 
of  better  quality  than  the  other,  of  a  bluish-gray  color,  passing  down 
into  a  steel-gray.  The  coarse  portion  is  quite  slaty.  It  is  this  bed  that 
furnishes  the  material  for  burning  into  lime.  These  limestones  incline 
30°,  and  are  about  1,500  feet  in  thickness.    The  next  bed  is  composed 


of  rusty-brown  slaty  clays  200  feet  thick.  Then  succeeds  a  remarkable 
group  of  quartzite  beds,  with  unusual  indications  of  shallow  water 
deposition,  inclining  75°.  The  river  cuts  directly  through  the  ridge, 
forming  a  caiion  100  feet  wide,  with  walls  500  feet  high.  The  lower 
bed  I  have  estimated  at  2,000  feet  in  thickness,  and  it  is  mostly  a  close- 
graiued  compact  quartzite,  but  sometimes  it  is  an  aggregate  of  small 
white  masses  of  quartz  and  water- worn  pebbles.  From  underneath  this 
bed  are  a  few  'outcroppings  of  micaceous  gneiss  and  reddish  feldspathic 
granite,  apparently  inclining  the  same  with  the  quartzites. 

There  is  another  very  interesting  feature  in  this  canon  which  connects 
it  more  immediately  with  the  great  valley  to  the  west  of  the  range. 
Toward  the  sources  of  Ogden  Creek,  and  in  the  expansions  of  the 
valley,  are  quite  thick  deposits  of  a  kind  of  drift  of  sands  and  clays,  with 
the  greatest  abundance  of  loose,  worn  bowlders  and  pebbles.  In  the 
caiion  this  drift  material  forms  a  massive,  coarse  conglomerate,  and  frag- 
ments now  are  found  atta(ihed  to  the  sides  of  the  canon  in  a  horizontal  posi- 
tion. These  conglomerates  X)oint  to  the  time  when  the  great  fresh-water 
lake,  at  a  comparatively  modern  period,  filled  the  valley  of  Salt 
Lake  high  upon  the  flanks  of  the  mountains,  even  covering  the  highest 

This  subject  will  be  discussed  more  fully  in  a  subsequent  portion 
of  this  report. 

On  the  morning  of  June  11,  we  left  our  camp  near  Ogden  City 
and  proceeded  on  our  journey  northward,  cam]3ing  the  first  night; 
near  the  Hot  Springs.  This  is  a  very  interesting  locality,  and  de- 
served a  more  careful  study  than  we  were  able  to  give  it.  There  Is 
here  a  group  of  warm  springs,  forming,  in  the  aggregate,  a  stream  3 
feet  wide  and  6  to  12  inches  deep;  the  surface,  for  a  space  of  300  or  400 
yards  in  extent,  is  covered  with  a  deposit  of  oxide  of  iron,  so  that  it 
resembles  a  tan-yard  in  color.  The  temperature  is  136°.  They  flow  from 
beneath  a  mountain  called  Hot  Spring  Mountain,  which  is  about  five 
miles  long  and  three  wide,  and  is,  I  think,  a  remnant  of  the  west  part 
of  the  anticlinal  of  which  the  great  range  forms  the  eastern  part.  On 
either  side  of  this  fragment  of  a  mountains  the  terraces  are  distinctly 
defined.  Tbe  nucleus  is  composed  of  micaceous  gneiss,  with  seams  of 
white  quartz  running  through  it  in  every  direction,  and  resting  upon  it 
with  apparent  conformity  are  the  quartzites  and  limestones.  Tiie  eleva- 
tion of  tbe  shore  of  the  lake  near  the  water- tank,  not  far  from  Hot  Springs, 
is  4,191.4,  while  the  highest  point  of  this  broken  mountain  to  the  east 
of  it  is  4,986.6,  or  about  800  feet  above  the  lake.  The  water  of  the  warm 
springs  is  as  clear  as  crystal,  containing  great  quantities  of  iron,  and 
the  supply  is  abundant,  and  as  there  are  cold  springs  also  in  the  vicin- 
ity, there  is  no  reason  why  this  locality  should  not  at  some  future  period 
become  a  noted  place  of  resort  for  invalids.  The  medicinal  qualities  of 
the  water  must  be  excellent,  and  the  climate  is  unsurpassed. 

Between  Willard  City,  and  Brigbam  City  the  terraces  are  well  defined, 
and  the  sides  of  the  mountains,  as  the  edges  of  the  strata  project 
toward  the  lake,  present  a  remarkably  rugged  appearance.  The 
limestones  crop  out  here  and  there  upon  the  quartzites  without 
any  regular  dip.  I  sought  earnestly  for  some  unmistakable  proof 
that  this  fragmentary  mountain  is  a  remnant  of  the  west  portion  of  the 
anticlinal,  and  though  I  am  convinced  that  it  is  so,  yet  the  evidence  was 
not  as  clear  as  I  could  wish.  Tbe  terraces,  as  well  as  the  sides  of  the 
mountains,  are  covered  so  thickly  with  a  kind  of  local  drift  or  a  modern 
lake  deposit  that  the  underlying  i"ocks  are  concealed.  S"ear  Box  Elder 
Canon  are  two  kinds  of  terraces,  the  usual  lake  terraces,  of.  which, there 
2  a  s 


are  two  well-defined  lines  at  least,  and  the  river  terraces,  which  are  con- 
fined to  the  streams  and  do  not  seem  to  have  any  direct  connection  with 
the  former.  These  river  terraces  are  so  marked  a  feature  in  the  landscape 
that  they  would  not  be  overlooked  by  the  traveler.  The  lowest  plain 
valley  opposite  the  caiion,  near  the  water's  edge,  was  found  to  be  4,344.8 
feet  above  the  sea-level.  Firstterrace,  4,683.8 feet ;  second  terrace,  4,776.5 ; 
third  terrace,  4,858.9.  These  terraces  will  show  more  clearly  than  any  other 
evidence  we  have,  the  gradual  decrease,  step  by  step,  of  the  waters  of  the 
ancient  lake,  and  the  operations  of  the  little  streams  pouring  into  it  from 
the  mountains  on  either  side.  The  amount  of  local  drift  that  has  been 
swept  down  through  the  gorges  or  caiious  and  lodged  at  the  opening  is 
very  great.  At  the  immediate  mouth  of  the  caiion  the  bowlders  are  quite 
large,  varying  in  diameter  from  a  few  inches  to  several  feet.  As  we  travel 
westward  toward  the  shore  of  the  lake  the  bowlders  diminish  in  size  and 
quantity,  and  the  finer  sediments,  as  sands  and  marls,  increase,  showing 
a  constant  decrease  in  the  power  of  the  currents  of  the  water  after  leav- 
ing the  mouth  of  the  caiion.  Ascending  the  Box  Elder  Caiion  we  find 
the  sides  almost  vertical,  rising  to  a  height  of  1,500  to  2,000  feet.  The 
rocks  are  gueiss,  quartzites,  slates ;  these  quartzites  again  inclining  30<^ 
to  70°.  After  passing  up  the  narrow  gorge  for  about  two  miles  in  a 
straight  line,  with  just  room  for  the  little  stream,  with  the  road 
with  the  lofty  precipitous  rugged  walls  on  either  side,  we  come 
out  into  an  open  park-like  area,  about  three  miles  in  extent  from  east 
to  west  and  four  miles  from  north  to  south,  which  forms  a  level  plain 
about  900  feet  above  Salt  Lake.  On  the  east  side  of  the  park  there  is 
a  great  thickness  of  alternate  layers  of  slaty  shale  and  rusty-yellow  quartz- 
ites, varying  in  thickness  from  one-fourth  of  an  inch  ta  twenty  inches, 
inclining  northeast  at  an  angle  of  45°,  and  one  is  an  immense  thickness 
of  steel-blue  limestone,  which  i3 rejects  up  near  the  summit  of  the  hills, 
in  sharp,  craggy  j^innacles.  In  these  limestones  is  an  abundance  of 
Syringojjora,  Fenestella,  Spirifer,  Procluctm,  sufficient  to  show  that  they 
are  of  Carboniferous  age.  Upou  the  surface  of  th,e  layers  of  quartz- 
ites beneath  are  impressions  of  what  appear  to  be  sea-weeds  in 
the  greatest  abundance,  so  that  large  masses  of  the  rock,  which  is  in 
many  instances  ^  sandstone,  with  a  reddish  tinge,  look  like  the  Medina 
sandstone  of  iSTew  York,  covered  with  the  Arthrorophycus  Harlani. 

In  the  park  the  river  terraces  are  well  defined,  really  constituting  the 
arable  land  in  the  mountains. 

The  little  Danish  Mormon  village  of  Copenhagen  is  located  on  a  terrace 
in  this  park.  The  farms  of  the  settlers  are  in  common,  and  are  cultivated 
by  irrigation  with  success.  To  show  how  much  available  land  there  is,  we 
estimated  it  at  twelve  square  miles,  or  over  7,000  acres.  The  park  is 
surrounded  by  high  mountains,  which  protect  it  from  great  extremes 
of  temperature,  and  the  elevation  above  the  sea  is  4,958  feet.  The 
mountainous  portions  of  Northern  Utah  are  full  of  these  beautiful  park- 
like areas,  which  are  most  probably  the  remains  of  an  ancient  lake.  The 
wells  which  have  been  dug  by  the  settlers  show  a  considerable  amount 
of  drift  or  bowlder  deposit,  with  fine  white  or  yellow  marly  sands  and 
clays  in  regular  layers,  showing  the  deposit  to  be  Post-Pliocene,  and 
that  the  waters  of  the  lake  were  comparatively  quiet.  The  interesting 
features  of  this  park  are  the  large  springs  at  the  base  of  the  high  hills 
which  surround  it.  On  the  south  side  there  is  a  spring  of  very  pure 
cold  water,  flowing  out  from  beneath  limestone  mountains,  forming  a 
stream  of  10  feet  wide  and  1  foot  deep,  supplying  water  for  irrigating  a 
large  part  of  the  park.  On  the  north  side  there  is  a  spring  about  the 
same  size  as  the  others.  Other  springs  occur  often,  so  that  this  little 
park  is  intersected  with  small  streams  in  every  direction. 


From  Mantua  to  Wellsville,  in  Cache  Valley,  tlie  surface  of  the  coun- 
try on  either  side -of  the  road  is  very  rugged.  The  rocks  are  mostly 
limestones.  The  road  runs  between  two  ridges  of  upheaval,  or  a  mono- 
cliual  valley,  with  the  bluish,  cherty,  brittle  limestone  rising  up  1,500  to 
2,000  feet  on  the  west  side,  inclining  a  little  north  of  east  at  a  very  large 
angle,  while  on  the  east  side  the  hills  are  more  rounded,  800  to  1,000 
feet  above  the  general  level  of  the  country,  but  dipping  in  the  same  di- 
rection. The  range  of  mountains  west  of  Wellsville  must  average  1,500 
feet  in  height ;  down  the  valley  are  one  or  two  of  the  highest  peaks — 
over  2,000  feet — which  are  covered  with  snow  in  midsummer.  They  are 
composed  almost  wholly  of  limestones  and  quartzites.  To  the  eastward 
the  ridges  reach  to  an  unknown  distance,  becoming  lower  and  the  strata 
inclining  at  a  smaller  angle.  Instead  of  beds  of  massive  limestone,  there 
are  alternations  of  arenaceous  clays,  limestones,  and  sandstones,  Yielding 
more  readily  to  atmospheric  influences,  and  in  consequence  the  hills  are 
more  rounded  and  covered  with  grass  or  small  trees.  1  have  estimated 
the  entire  thickness  of  the  stratitied  rocks  in  this  region  at  10,000  feet, 
and  it  is  with  this  mass  that  we  have  to  deal  at  this  time.  This  esti- 
mate does  not  include  the  Tertiary  beds,  either  modern  or  ancient,  which 
are  nearly  always  present  in  some  form. 

Cache  Valley  opens  into  Salt  Lake  Valley  by  way  of  Bear  Eiver 
Bay,  and  one  cannot  doubt  that  the  lake  itself  formerly  extended 
all  over  Cache  Valley.  The  modern  Tertiary  or  Pliocene  deposits 
which  cover  the  valley  jut  uj)  against  the  mountains  on  all  sides, 
with  the  terraces  which  are  distinct,  although  not  so  strongly 
marked  as  in  Salt  Lake  Valley.  Most  of  the  building  rocks  at 
Wellsville  are  the  soft  sandstones  of  the  modern  deposits,  which 
I  have,  in  a  former  report,  called  the  Salt  Lake  group.  Compact,  rusty 
brown  quartzites  enter  into  the  walls  of  the  houses  to  considerable  ex- 
tent; but  for  sills,  corners,  chimney- tops,  and  other  ornamental  j)urposes, 
the  whitish-gray  and  gray-brown  sandstones  are  used,  from  the  fact  that 
they  are  very  durable,  and  can  be  wrought  into  any  desirable  shape. 
These  calcareous  sandstones  are  horizontal,  and  underlie  the  plateaus  or 
terraces  in  the  valley.  The  quarry  near  Wellsville  is  not  profitable,  as 
the  principal  layer  of  rock  is  not  more  than  12  or  14  inches  in  thickness, 
and  several  feet  of  superficial  gravel  and  marl  have  to  be  removed  before 
the  sandstone  can  be  obtained.  Near  Mendon  the  sandstone  is  much 
more  compact,  and  occurs  in  several  layers.  It  is  quite  white,  and  forms 
very  beautiful  walls.  It  varies  much  in  texture,  some  of  it  very  porous, 
but  it  is,  for  the  most  part,  close-grained  enough  for  durability.  It  is  in 
some  instances  a  perfect  Oolite.  At  Logan  the  principal  co-operative 
store,  a  large  two-story  building,  is  constructed  of  a  rock  from  this  group, 
which  is  made  up  of  an  aggregate  of  fresh- water  and  land  shells  of  the 
genera  Limnea,  Physa,  Vivipara,  Helix ^  &c.,  apparently  identical  with 
recent  species.  I  was  informed  that  this  rock  comes  from  the  foot-hills 
of  the  mountains  just  west  of  Mendon.  It  is  the  upper  layer,  ^nd  is  a 
light-brown  calcareous  sandstone.  The  shells  are  nearly  all  casts,  the 
rock  being  soporous  in  texture  that  the  calcareous  shell  is  in  most  cases 
dissolved  out.  The  ridge  of  elevation,  or  range  of  mountains,  as  it  might 
more  properly  be  called,  which  forms  the  eastern  wall  of  Cache  Valley, 
breaks  off  suddenly  near  Mendon,  and  from  thence  northward  it  ai3pears 
in  detached  portions  and  of  far  less  magnitude.  But  the  range  or  ridge 
which  walls  in  the  east  side  is  lofty  and  continuous.  To  gain  some 
knowledge  of  its  structure,  I  ascended  Logan  Canon  about  four  miles  in 
a  straight  line  above  its  mouth.  The  caiion  seems  to  be  due  partly  to 
a  fissure  in  the  Carboniferous  limestones  and  the  erosion  of  the  little 


stream  that  passes  througli  it.    The  strata  appear  to  incline  each  way 
from  the  gorge  as  a  sort  of  axis.    There  is  considerable  irregularity  in  the 
height  of  the  hills  on  either  side  of  the  canon,  but  they  vary  from  800 
to  2,000  feet.     Some  of  the  highest  points  have  banks  of  snow  all  the 
year.     The  inclination  of  the  strata  of  limestone  varies  from  8°  to  20°. 
The  greatest  dip  is  at  the  entrance  of  the  gorge,  and  as  we  ascend,  it 
diminishes  until  it  is  uniformly  about  6°  to  10°.    One  group  of  strata  near 
the  entrance  of  the  canon  is  35°.    Sonie  fragments  seem  to  have  broken 
off  of  the  main  ridges,  and  appear  to  incline  west  toward  the  valley,  giv- 
ing to  the  section  the  appearance  of  an  anticlinal.    This  caBion  forms  an 
extremely  interesting  cross-section  of  the  Carboniferous  limestones,  and 
reveals  their  massiveness  and  enormous  thickness.     They  cannot  be 
less  than  5,000  feet  in  thickness.     The  rock  is  quite  hard,  brittle,  of  a 
bluish-gray  color,  and  in  some  layers  full  of  seams  and  cavities  of  cal- 
cite.    A  fine  stream,  about  thirty  yards  wide  and  an  average  of  2  or  3 
feet  in  depth,  rushes  foaming  down  over  the  immense  masses  of  rock 
which  have  fallen  from  the  mountain-sides  into  its  channel.    The  local 
drift  is  here  a  conspicuous  feature  also.    It  is  composed  of  rounded 
bowlders,  with  clays  and  marls  reaching  a  thickness  of  100  to  150  feet 
in  regular  and  horizontal  strata,  attached  to  the  sides  of  the  gorge,  and 
showing  that,  however  turbulent  the  waters,  the  materials  were  depos- 
ited in  a  lake.    At  the  entrance  of  the  caiion  are  some  remarkable  ter- 
races, composed  of  sands,  clays,  marls,  and  rounded  bowlders.    The  high 
limestone  ridges  which  bound  Cache  Valley  on  the  east  extend  far  south 
of  Logan,  and  immediately  at  the  base  are  a  number  of  prosperous  Mor- 
mon towns,  as  Hiram,  Paradise,  and  others.    The  trend  is  somev;hat 
to  the  east  of  south,  and  is  composed  almost  entirely  of  limestones  of 
Carboniferous  age.    North  of  Logan  to  Smith  field,  a  distance  of  about 
ten  miles,  the  quartzites,  with  variegated  sandstones  and  clays,  appear 
beneath  the  limestones.    Owing  to  the  change  in  the  character  of  the 
rocky  strata,  the  symmetry  of  the  range  is  lost  to  some  extent.     The 
ranges  of  hills,  or  of  mountains,  as  they  might  be  called,  which  bound 
the  west  side  of  Cache  Valley,  seem  to  be  composed  of  the  same  kind  of 
rocks,  limestones,   and  quartzites,  for  the  most  part,  with  i^artings 
of  clay  at  times.    This  range  separates  the  two  valleys — Malade  Valley 
from  Cache  Valley.      I  was  not  able  to  make  a  minute  examination  of 
the  whole   country,   including  Promontory  Mountain,   extending  far 
northward,  which  is  occupied  by  quartzites  and  limestones  which  are, 
probably,  mostly  of  Carboniferous  age.    From  Corinne  to  Monument 
Point,  along  the  Central  Pacific  Eailroad,  none  but  dark,  slate-colored 
limestones  can  be  seen.    It  would  appear,  therefore,  that  a  large  por- 
tion of  Utah  is  made  up  of  these  nearly  i)arallel  ranges  of  mountains, 
trending  nearly  north  and  south,  with  intervening  valleys  of  greater  or 
less  width,  which,  after  their  elevation,  formed  shore-lines  for  detached 
lakes  or  bays.    So  far  as  the  evidence  goes,  it  would  appear  that  the 
last  lake  period  of  this  portion  of  the  West  commenced  in  the  Pliocene 
epoch  and  continued  on  up  to  the  present  time  ;  that  the  waters  once 
filled  all  these  valleys,  so  that  they  rested  high  upon  the  sides  of  the 
mountains,  depositing  the  sediments  of  the  Salt  Lake  group,  gradually 
passing  into  the  Post- Pliocene  deposits  which  verge  upon  our  present 
period.    It  is  quite  possible  that  there  have  been  oscillations  of  level  in 
these  modern  lake- waters ;  but  so  far  as  the  proofs  go,  this  great  inland 
lake  may  have  continued  quite  uniform  until  the  Terrace  epoch,  and 
that  then  the  waters  gradually  receded  to  their  present  i^osition.     If 
these  statements  are  true,  and  I  believe  they  are,  this  country  is  in- 
vested with  a  charming  interest  to  the  geologist. 


The  story  of  the  changes  which  have  occurred  in  the  geological 
history  of  this  great  interior  basin  can,  no  doubt,  be  traced  by  uniting 
link  to  link  the  internal  evidence  of  the  rocky  strata  from  the  earliest 
period  to  the  present  time,  and  this  work  belongs  to  the  province  of  the 
geologist.  To  contribute  something  toward  the  task  of  reconstructing  the 
physical  geography  of  this  country  in  past  geological  times  is  my  principal 
object  in  writing  out  the  geological  features  of  our  route  in  so  great  detail. 
There  is  so  much  similarity  in  the  general  structure  of  the  country  that  I 
might  express  the  more  prominent  points  in  few  words,  but  this  would  fail 
to  give  definiteness  to  the  work.  At  the  risk  of  repetition,  I  shall  present 
the  principal  facts  observed  during  each  day's  travel  in  the  order  in  which 
they  were  obtained. 

As  we  proceed  northward  the  hills  on  the  east  side  of  the  valley 
become  more  irregular  and  broken.  Massive  beds  of  the  limestone 
can  be  seen  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach,  capping  the  summits,  and 
inclining  from  the  valley  eastward  at  various  angles,  but  the  lower 
hills  in  front  are  much  rounded  and  covered  with  grass,  showing  the 
softer  character  of  the  underlying  rocks.  Clays,  sands,  and  quartzites  of 
various  textures  prevail.  On  the  west  side  the  nucleus  of  the  mountains 
is  undoubtedly  the  same ;  but  high  up  on  the  summits,  as  well  as  on  the 
sides,  are  found  the  yellowish  and  whitish  marls  and  sandstones  of  the 
later  Tertiary  or  lake  deposits,  filling  up,  to  some  extent,  the  inequalities 
of  the  surface,  and  sometimes  inclining,  at  a  moderate  angle,  in  the  same 
direction  with  the  older  rocks  beneath ;  with  the  latter,  however,  the 
former  do  not  conform.  This  range  of  mountains,  which  continues  unin- 
terruptedly nearly  to  Marsh  Yalley,  on  the  west  side  of  Eound  Valley, 
rises  1,000  to  1,200  feet  above  the  bed  of  Bear  Eiver.  The  summits  are 
covered  with  bowlders,  mostly  quartzites.  The  outline  of  this  range  is 
formed  of  an  irregular  series  of  cones,  with  a  general  dip  to  the  east. 
The  inclination  is  quite  irregular,  sometimes  10°,  then  60°  or  70°.  There 
is  so  much  material  of  a  soft  nature  that  yields  readily  to  atmospheric 
influences  that  the  underlying  harder  strata  are  much  concealed,  so  that  I 
found  it  impossible  to  obtain  a  continuous  section.  The  mountains  on 
the  west  side  from  the  crossing  of  Bear  Eiver  to  Bridgeport  present  a 
very  abrnpt  front  toward  the  valley.  Originally  the  quartzites,  clays, 
and  limestones  were  elevated  so  as  to  correspond  with  the  ridges  or 
hills  on  the  east  side,  inclining  in  the  same  direction,  but  the  outburst 
of  igneous  rocks  has  produced  some  changes  in  position  since  the  elevation 
of  the  older  rocks.  The  igneous  rocks  haye  the  peculiar  somber  hue  and 
abruptness  of  basalts,  and,  in  this  case,  they  would  appear  to  have  been 
thrown  up  under  great  pressure,  so  that  they  are  exceedingly  compact 
and  massive  on  the  surface,  and  even  where  the  little  streams  have 
flowed  down  the  sides,  forming  deep  caiions,  the  same  close  texture  is 
shown.  Wherever  the  sedimentary  beds  come  in  contact  with  these 
basalts,  they  are  changed  more  or  less.  The  clays  are  changed  into 
bluish  slates,  the  quartzites  are  more  crystalline,  and  the  limestones  are 
more  or  less  metamorphic,  and  exhibit  a  darker  hue.  They  are  also 
full  of  cavities,  lined  with  quartz  crystals,  or  calcite,  and  seams  of 
quartz.  In  this  range  of  hills  or  mountains,  near  Bridgeport,  silver 
mines  have  been  found.  One  lode  has  been  discovered  that  yielded  ore 
which  is  said  to  assay  $75  per  ton.  It  is  not  probable  that  this  will 
ever  be  a  successful  mining  district,  and  however  rich  the  ore  may  be 
in  localities,  it  will  doubtless  be  found  only  in  pockets,  and  not  in 
regular  lodes.  The  area  is  limited,  and  whatever  ore  there  may  be,  it 
has  probably  been  segregated  in  fissures  or  cavities  by  the  action  of  the 
basalts  on  the  contiguous  quartzites.   Originally  the  quartzites  and  lime- 


stones  inclined  at  a  high  angle  eastward,  and  gave  to  the  west  side  of  the 
range  of  hills  a  slope  like  the  steep  roof  of  a  house,  but  the  elevations 
of  the  basalts,  which  occur  mostly  on  the  east  side,  carried  the  strat- 
ified beds  up  toward  the  summit  of  the  ridge  in  such  a  way  that  a  sort 
of  local  synclinal  was  formed.  The  abruptness  of  the  sides  of  this  range 
of  hills,  and  the  dark  color  of  the  massive  basalts,  with  the  variegated 
color  of  the  changed  and  unchanged  rocks,  which  send  the  ridge-like 
.  cones  up  1,000  to  1,200  feet  above  the  valley,  give  a  remarkably  rugged, 
picturesque  character  to  the  scenery.  The  valley  at  the  base  is  a  meadow 
in  the  luxuriance  of  its  vegetation.  It  is  divided  up  into  farming  lands 
and  meadows,  and  the  numerous  little  streams  which  gash  deeply  the 
sides  of  the  mountains  and  flow  down  the  steep  foot-hills  can  be  easily 
guided  all  over  the  fertile  valley. 

The  immediate  valley  of  Bear  Eiver,  near  the  crossing,  is  somewhat 
interesting  on  account  of  the  fine  development  of  the  lake  deposit.  It 
is  here  composed  of  clay,  sand,  and  marl,  yellow  and  rusty-drab  color, 
and  attains  a  thickness  of  200  to  300  feet.  The  elevation  of  Bear 
Biver  Valley  at  the  bridge  is  4,542.5  feet,  and  the  highest  terrace  on  the 
east  side  4^737.7  feet,  and  the  highest  on  the  west  4,779.3  feet.  The 
immediate  valley  of  Bear  Eiver  may  be  said  to  have  been  worn  out  of 
the  Pliocene  or  lake  deposit.  Looking  southward  along  the  eastern  side 
of  Cache  Yalley,  the  Tertiary  beds  can  be  distinctly  seen,  jutting  up 
against  the  sides  of  the  mountains,  and  literally  filling  up  the  low  places 
in  the  range.  Looking  northward  the  same  beds  seem  to  jut  up  against 
the  hills,  but  the  river  appears  to  cut  narrow,  gorge-like  channels  through 
several  of  the  parallel  ranges  of  hills  or  mountains.  From  time  to  time 
we  find  heavy  beds  of  conglomerates  resting  upon  the  finer  sediments 
of  the  lake  deposit,  the  exact  age  of  which  is  obscure,  though  probably 
formed  just  prior  to  the  present  order  of  things. 

Before  leaving  this  beautiful  valley  we  may  say  a  word  about  its  agri- 
cultural resources.  It  is  about  7  miles  Avide,  and  60  in  length  from 
north  to  south.  It  was  a.  matter  of  great  surprise  to  all  my  party  to 
find  these  mountain  valleys  filled  up  with  inhabitants,  and  the  land 
under  a  high  state  of  cultivation.  In  Cache  Valley  there  are  at  least 
ten  thousand  people  at  this  time  industriously  cultivating  the  soil,  with 
all  the  appliances  of  comfort  around  them.  Whenever  this  country 
escapes  the  ravages  of  the  destructive  grasshopper  the  crops  are  abun- 
dant. On  either  side  of  the  valley  great  numbers  of  little  streams,  after 
cutting  deep  gorges  into  the  mountains,  flow  down  into  the  plains,  and 
are  guided  by  the  farmer  all  over  his  lands.  There  is  no  cultivation 
without  irrigation,  and  with  it,  crops  of  all  kinds  are  most  excellent. 
The  average  elevation  is  only  between  4,000  and  5,000  feet.  We  leave 
the  valley,  on  our  journey  by  way  of  Eed  Eock  Pass,  which  is  formed  of 
a  group  of  Carboniferous  limestones,  a  portion  of  which  have  a  reddish 
appearance  in  the  distance,  from  the  presence  of  oxide  of  iron.  The  small 
stream,  which  constitutes  the  drainage  of  the  upper  or  north  edge  of  the 
valley,  has,  at  some  points,  cut  a  narrow  channel  through  what  may  have 
been  a  sort  of  anticlinal  fissure,  for  tbe  strata  of  limestone  incline  each 
way  from  the  opening  or  pass,  10°  to  20°.  These  masses  of  limestone  all 
point  to  a  period  of  great  erosion,  and  are  monuments  to  indicate  the 
huge  and  extensive  thickness  of  the  limestone  strata  in  this  region. 
East  Eed  Eock  is  300  feet  from  summit  to  base.  The  divide  between  the 
drainage  of  Bear  Eiver  and  that  of  Port  Neuf,  which  flows  into  Snake 
Eiver,  is  5,041.9  feet  in  elevation.  From  Eed  Eock  Pass  we  travel  down 
Marsh  Valley,  Avitli  high  hills  and  some  quite  lofty  peaks  on  either  side, 
composed  of  the  same  quartzites  and  limestones  that  we  have  before 


noted.  The  valley  is  about  ten  miles  wide  and  is  entirely  occupied  with 
the  Pliocene  beds  from  side  to  side.  The  terraces  underlaid  by  this 
deposit  are  a  marked  feature,  and  rise  300  feet  above  the  creek,  the 
middle  one  150  feet  and  the  lowest  50  feet.  The  hills  on  the  west  side 
are  lower  and  less  rugged,  rising  400  to  1,000  feet  above  the  valley ;  but 
on  the  east  side  they  are  more  formidable,  1,500  to  1,800  feet  in  height. 
The  surface  outlines  are  quite  rounded  and  smooth  by  weathering,  so  that 
the  strata  are  not  well  defined.  Marsh  Valley,  which  is  about  five  miles 
in  length,  is  like  a  meadow  covered  with  tall,  thick  grass.  Soon  after 
passing  the  divide,  a  small  stream  commences  running  northward  toward 
the  Port  ISTeuf,  and  on  either  side  are  wide,  swampy,  or  springy  belts, 
contributing  springs  at  every  step,  and  in  a  distance  of  ten  miles  it  be- 
comes a  good-sized  river.  The  luxuriance  of  the  vegetation  is  a  marked 
feature.  The  entire  channel  was  filled  with  several  species  of  water- 
plants,  Potamogeton,  Ranunculus,  Brasenia,  Myriophyllum,  and  many 
others.  As  a  necessary  result,  the  fresh-water  molluscous  life  was  mdst 
abundant,  FlanorMs,  Li^nnea,  Fhysa,  &c. 

About  ten  miles  north  of  Carpenter's  Station  we  come  to  the  southern 
border  of  the  great  basaltic  overflow  in  the  valley  of  Port  Ncuf  and  Snake 
Eiver,  for  I  am  now  convinced  that  this  comparatively  modern  eruption 
of  igneous  material  covered  an  immense  area  of  counfay,  and  might  be- 
called  the  basin  of  a  wide,  extended  lake  of  igneous  material,  of  which 
the  Snake- River  Basin  was  the  center.  Whether  the  melted  material 
flowed  up  the  valleys  of  the  streams  that  empty  into  the  Snake  Eiver,  or 
issued  from  fissures  extending  up  these  valleys  and  overflowing  them  from 
side  to  side,  it  is  difficult  to  determine.  The  latter  explanation  is  most 
probablj'  the  true  one,  judging  from  the  uniformity  in  thickness  and  extent 
of  this  vast  sheet  of  lava.  The  elevation  of  our  camp  on  the  south  border 
of  the  lava  basin  in  Port  ISTeuf  Valley  is  4,625.5  feet,  and  this  seems  to  have 
been  the  height  to  which  it  reached  in  its  overflow.  The  little  streams 
have  cut  new  channels  directly  through  the  lava  flooring,  and  thus  excellent 
sections  of  it  may  be  studied.  As  a  rule  the  streams  flow  along  deep  muddy 
channels,  with  boggy  border  and  abrupt  sides  obstructing  and  even  ren- 
dering the  fording  of  them  dangerous :  and  on  either  side,  varying  in  dis- 
tance from  a  few  yards  to  a  half  a  mile,  is  a  vertical  wall  of  basalt, 
which,  in  the  distance,  has  a  partially  columnar  appearance.  The  basalt 
fractures  into  vertical  masses  that  have  an  obscure  five  or  six  sided  form. 
Sometimes  these  walls  are  so  steep  and  uniform  for  miles  that  they  can- 
not be  scaled,  and  some  broken-down,  eroded  portion  must  be  sought  for 
before  the  traveler  can  escape  from  the  marshy  channel  of  the  streams 
to  the  table-like  plateau  above.  The  lower  portion  of  this  lava  floor  is 
very  compact  and  massive,  but  the  top  part  is  more  or  less  vesicular. 
There  is  very  little,  if  any,  of  the  usual  spongy  lava ;  it  is  ail  very  heavy, 
even  though  full  of  cavities.  It  effervesces  freely,  showing  the  presence 
of  lime  in  considerable  quantities.  The  illustrations  of  exfoliation  are 
abundant  everywhere.  Sometimes  quite  thick  beds  show  an  exposed 
surface  of  rounded  masses,  decomposing  in  concentric  layers  as  if  it 
was  an  aggregation  of  large  concretions.  The  disintegratiou  of  these 
igneous  rocks  is  mostly  accomplished  through  the  process  of  exfoliation. 
The  general  appearance  of  this  table-shaped  belt  of  basalt  contrasts 
strangely  with  the  ranges  of  hills  on  either  side.  On  the  east  side  of  the 
valley  the  foot-hills  are  quite  irregular,  high,  and  covered  with  drift.  On 
the  west  side  they  slope  rather  gently  down  to  the  river,  deeply  cut 
liere  and  there  by  ravines.  The  superficial  deposits  extend  high  up,  500 
feet  or  more  above  the  bed  of  the  river,  lapping  smoothly  on  the  basis 
rocks.    The  white  Pliocene  sandstones  are  exposed  at  one  locality  not 


far  below  the  toll-gate.  The  Port  J^eiif  River  is  full  of  little  falls  or 
rapids  3  to  6  feet  high,  where  the  water  flows  over  the  basaltic  floor,  add- 
ing much  to  the  attractive  beauty  of  the  scenery.  .Here  and  there  we 
find  outcroppiugs  of  cherty  and  silicious  limestones  underlaid  by  shales. 
Isolated  hills  or'ridges  composed  of  these  rocks  are  revealed  by  the  river, 
sometimes  extending  partly  across  the  valley,  remnants  left  from  former 
erosions.  At  the  bend  of  Port  Neuf  a  pretty  little  stream  about  10  feet 
wide  flows  in  from  the  northeast.  On  the  west  side  the  rusty-gray 
quartzites  are  well  shown,  inclining  55°.  In  passing  down  the  Port  Neuf 
from  the  bend,  we  have  the  yellowish-gray  quartzites  just  mentioned, 
then  dull  purplish  quartzite,  composed  largely  of  an  aggregate  of  quartz 
pebbles,  then  dark  purplish  drab  slates.  The  latter  seem  to  form  the  cen- 
tral portion  of  a  local  anticlinal.  The  reverse  dip  extends  only  a  short 
distance,  while  the  original  dip,  a  little  north  of  east,  is  restored,  and 
this  continues  for  five  or  six  miles,  the  strata  consisting  of  alternate  beds 
of  quartzites,  slates,  limestones,  &c.,  iuclining  15c>  to  50°.  In  this  series 
are  three  beds  of  impure  cherty  limestones.  The  quartzites  possess  a 
great  variety  of  texture  and  color,  from  a  dirty,  rusty  brown  or  rusty  yel- 
low to  a  fine  grayish  quartz.  The  reddish  or  purplish  quartzite  is  very 
thick,  and  forms  most  beautiful  pudding-stones,  very  seldom  a  coarse 
conglomerate.  At  the  lower  end  of  Port  Iseuf  Canon,  j ust  before  it  opens 
into  the  plain,  there  is  a  high  ridge,  rising  1,500  to  2,000  feet  above  the 
river,  which  seems  to  form  the  central  mass  of  the  general  anticlinal,  for 
the  strata  dip  each  way  from  it.  This  ridge,  as  it  extends  off' far  south- 
ward, shows  the  slopes  or  inclinations  of  the  beds  well.  The  Port  Ifeuf, 
after  making  the  bend  near  Robber's  Roost  City,  cuts  a  channel  through 
the  ridges  nearly  at  right  angles  for  five  or  six  miles,  exposing  at  least 
10,000  feet  of  quartzite.  The  ridges  run  quite  regularly  north  and  south, 
and  the  principal  ones  are  very  persistent,  while  connected  with  them 
are  some  fragmentary  ones.  The  age  of  this  vast  series  of  stratified 
rocks  is  quite  obscure,  and  may  continue  so.  The  limestones  which  con- 
tain the  well-defined  Carboniferous  fossils  mark  a  horizon  which  takes  in 
a  considerable  thickness,  but  below  this  horizon  there  is  a  group  of 
strata  of  variable  thickness,  as  well  as  texture,  that  is  not  likely  to  reveal 
the  proofs  of  its  age.  It  is  true  that  there  is  ample  room  for  several  times 
as  great  a  thickness  of  strata  in  the  Devonian  and  Silurian,  and  even 
extending  down  into  the  sub-Silurian,  where,  perhaps,  some  of  the  meta- 
morphic  quartzites  should  be  iJlaced.  In  this  report  I  shall  merely  state 
the  facts  as  I  have  been  able  to  observe  them,  and  await  the  results  of 
future  explorations  to  clear  uj)  any  obscurities.  In  this  great  country  the 
formations  are  usually  so  widely  extended  geographically  that  the  discov- 
ery of  proofs  of  their  age  at  any  one  locality  may  unravel  the  obscurities 
of  years  of  labor.  Limestones  of  undoubted  Carboniferous  age  occur  every- 
where, and,  as  a  rule,  cover  the  summits  and  flanks  of  the  highest  ranges 
of  hills  or  mountains.  In  many  instances  the  great  thickness  of  these 
limestones  and  the  slowness  with  which  they  yield  to  atmospheric  in- 
fluences have  prevented  many  of  the  ranges  from  being  much  rounded, 
and  perhaps  removed  entirely.  Over  a  great  portion  of  Utah,  extending 
north  ward  into  Idaho  and  Montana,  the  Carboniferous  limestones  form  the 
great  protecting  covering  to  the  mountain  ranges.  The  erosion  of  the 
basalt  in  the  Port  Neuf  Caiion  is  a  feature  of  some  interest.  Sometimes 
for  miles  it  has  been  entirely  removed ;  then  It  will  re-appear  in  full  force. 
Remnants  are  sometimes  seen  on  the  sides  of  the  caQon,  showing  that  the 
waters  at  a  modern  period  have  worn  wide  channels  through.  In  some 
instances  there  are  evidences  of  two  great  periods  of  outflow  of  melted 
inaterialj  forming  horizontal  belts,  as  it  were.    At  one  locality  this  fea- 


tnre  is  well  shown  where  the  river  has  cut  through  the  basalt,  revealing 
150' feet  in  thickness,  with  the  floor  or  terraces;  the  lower  one  is  the  im- 
mediate channel  of  the  river,  and  the  other  forming  distinct  walls  ois 
either  side,  with  an  obscure  columnar  fracture.  I  am  inclined  to  believe 
that  there  were  at  least  two  important  periods  of  overflow  of  basalt  all  _ 
over  this  region,  although  in  a  geological  sense  they  are  connected  to-' 
gether.  After  leaving  Port  E^euf  Oaiion  we  come  out  into  the  broad  i^lains 
bordering  on  Snake  Eiver;  on  either  side,  as  we  continue  northward  to 
Eoss's  Fork,  we  find  the  hills  of  various  heights  and  comi)osed  of  a  va- 
riety of  quartziteSjWith  some  limestones.  They  are  much  rounded,  and 
covered  with  a  heavy  deposit  of  debris  or  kind  of  drift,  and  the  whitish 
and  gray  sandstones  and  the  yellow  and  drab  marl  of  the  Pliocene  fill 
up  the  irregularities  of  the  surface,  and  sometimes  incline  at  a  small 
angle,  as  if  they  had  participated  in  some  of  the  later  movements  that 
elevated  the  country  to  its  present  position.  From  the  stage  station  on 
Eoss's  Fork  to  the  present  location  of  Fort  Hall  is  about  16  miles.  The 
valley  is  a  beautiful  one^  and  was  originally  called  Warm  Spring  Valley, 
from  some  warm  springs  that  form  the  sources  of  the  little  streams  that 
flow  through  it,  but  it  has  since  received  the  patriotic  name  of  Lincoln 
Valley.  Among  the  lower  ranges  of  hills  that  border  the  east  side  of 
the  great  Snake  Eiver  basin,  especially  from  Port  Neuf  CaSon  north- 
ward, the  Pliocene  deposits  are  well  shown,  and  lie  beneath  the  basaltic 
floor.  In  the  Port  Neuf  Canon  this  fact  is  illustrated  by  the  wearing  away 
of  the  cap  or  floor  of  basalt  in  a  number  of  localities,  but  on  the  sides 
of  the  hills  this  is  shown  with  equal  clearness  by  the  elevations  of 
the  basalt.  The  dip  of  the  beds  is  not  great,  usually  not  more  than  5°  or 
10°,  and  in  all  cases  in  the  direction  of  the  great  basin.  This  would  in- 
dicate that  there  had  been  a  moderate  elevation  of  the  mountain  ranges 
or  a  depression  of  the  basin  at  a  very  modern  date,  even  approaching  very 
close  to  our  present  period.  The  effusion  of  such  a  vast  amount  of  igne- 
ous matter  from  the  interior  of  the  earth  might  suggest  the  possibility, 
or  even  ]}robability,  that  the  cause  of  the  subsequent  changes  in  the  hills^ 
around  the  borders,  was  either  contemporaneous  or  subsequent  to  the 
effusion  of  the  melted  material.  If  the  elevation  began  with  the  erup- 
tion, it  certainly  continued  long  after  it  ceased,  inasmuch  as  the  basalt 
is  lifted  up  in  thick  beds,  at  the  same  angle  with  the  underlying  strata. 
]Srot  only  in  the  valley  of  the  Port  i^euf  and  Snake  Eiver  is  the  basalt 
found  in  conjunction  with  the  lake  deposits,  but  in  numerous  localities 
all  over  the  isTorthwest,  it  seems  to  rest  upon  these  Pliocene  beds,  readilj^ 
adapting  itself  by  the  form  of  the  under  surface  to  the  irregularities  of 
the  surface  of  the  lake  deposits. 

A  tew  Vv'ords  in  regard  to  the  geological  character  of  the  hills  border- 
ing Lincoln  Valley,  around  Fort  Hall,  may  not  be  without  interest  in 
this  connection.  In  ascending  a  small  gorge-like  valley  east  of  the  fort^ 
where  the  waters  have  excavated  a  channel  directly  through  the  differ- 
ent beds,  we  have  excellent  opportunities  for  studying  such  of  them  as 
are  developed  in  this  region.  There  is  a  general  dip  to  the  strata  that 
may  be  regarded  as  uniform  and  in  one  direction,  but  the  local  disturb- 
ances are,  oftentimes,  very  complicated,  and  in  many  cases  formations 
which  are  really  well  developed  are  entirely  concealed  over  large  areas, 
or  simply  crop  out  here  and  there  over  very  restricted  areas.  The  moun- 
tain ranges  all  over  the  West  are  full  of  canons  and  valleys,  cuts  or 
gashes,  from  the  axes  or  central  portions  to  the  plains.  These  vary  so 
much  in  character,  owing  to  the  intensity  of  the  erosive  force,  that  some 
of  them  may  penetrate  the  very  core  of  the  mountain,  and  cut  through 
all  the  strata  on  the  sides  into  the  plains,  or  it  may  be  more  or  less  shal- 


low,  or  so  liard,  and  the  strata  so  covered  with  grass  or  debris,  that  they 
elude  the  scrutiny  of  the  geologist.  By  exploring  with  much  care  large 
numbers  of  these  natural  cuts,  a  very  true  conception  of  the  geological 
structure  of  a  mountain  range  may  be  obtained.  It  is  usually  quite 
difficult  to  measure  the  thickness  of  the  beds ;  indeed,  it  is  impossible ; 
and  we  must  therefore  rely  upon  a  judicious  estimate,  aided  by  good 
barometrical  observations.  Neither  are  exact  instrumental  measure- 
ments of  strata  of  great  importance  in  this  country.  Take,  for  example, 
the  limestones  of  the  Carboniferous  age ;  they  vary  in  thickness  in  differ- 
ent localities,  all  the  way  from  a  few  hundred  feet  to  as  many  thousands, 
and  yet  they  being  sea-formed  rocks,  are  supposed  to  tend  toward  uni- 
formity of  thickness.  In  this  narrow  valley  we  find  that  the  Pliocene 
beds  which  form  the  foot-hills  of  all  the  ranges  of  mountains  surround- 
ing the  great  Snake-Eiver  Basin  are  also  under  the  great  basalt  floor. 
These  beds  sometimes  are  found  400  or  500  feet  above  the  level 
of  the  plains,  and  so  conceal  the  underlyiug  rocks,  upon  which  they  re- 
pose unconformably,  that  it  is  difficult  to  unravel  their  connections. 
Then  there  is  a  thickness  of  several  hundred  feet  of  grayish-brown  lime- 
stones, more  or  less  arenaceous,  with  intercalated  layers  of  clay  or  lime- 
stone, and  full  of  Jurassic  fossils.  Underneath  is  a  group  of  sand- 
stones, varying  in  color  from  a  dark  to  a  light  brick-red,  resembling  the 
sandstones  so  well  shown  in  Weber  Caiion,  and  probably  of  the  same 
age,  but  entirely  destitute  of  organic  remains.  This  group  is  300  to  500 
feet  thick,  and  inclines  15°  to  25° ;  underlying  the  red  sandstones  are 
limestones,  which  are  undoubtedly  Carboniferous,  and  beneath  them 
quartzites,  sandstones,  pudding-stones,  conglomerates,  of  unknown 
age.  The  group  thus  enumerated  forms  the  mass  or  bulk  of  the  regu.- 
larly  stratified  rocks,  composing  the  ranges  around  this  great  basin. 

Before  closing  this  chapter,  I  may  enumerate  some  of  the  elevations 
along  our  route,  for  the  purpose  of  showing  the  relative  heights  of  the 
iiills  surrounding  the  plains  and  valleys,  as  well  as  to  indicate  one  of  the 
important  conditions  for  successful  agriculture.  There  seems  to  be  no 
want  of  fertility  in  the  soil  of  our  western  plains,  and  when  the  two 
most  imi)ortant  conditions  are  favorable,  climate  and  moisture,  or  water 
for  the  ]mrposes  of  irrigation,  then  agriculture  will  be  a  success.  How- 
ever abundant  the  water  may  be,  either  in  the  form  of  rain  or  in  streams 
for  irrigation,  if  the  elevation  is  7,000  feet  and  upward,  the  climate  is 
liable  to  be  too  severe  and  uncertain  for  settlement.  From  barometrical 
observations  along  the  route  of  travel  we  found  that  the  elevation  of  our 
camp  on  Boss's  Fork  was  4,394  feet  above  the  sea ;  on  the  divide  toward 
Fort  Hall,  5,072  feet ;  Fort  Hall,  4,724.  These  figures  will  serve  to  indi- 
cate the  general  elevation  of  the  plains  and  the  immediate  foot-hills,  and 
they  show  that  the  climate  need  not  be  more  unfavorable  for  agriculture 
than  that  of  Salt  Lake  Yalley,  in  which  the  Mormons  have  been  so  suc- 
cessful. How  far  the  excessive  dryness  of  the  atmosphere  may  be  an 
obstacle  it  is  hardly  possible  to  decide.  The  past  season  was  an 
unusually  dry  one.  The  difference  between  the  wet  and  dry  bulb  in 
June  on  the  Snake  Eiver  plains  was  35°,  which  indicates  an  unusual 
freedom  from  moisture  in  the  air.  The  broad  bottoms  in  the  immediate 
vicinity  of  Snake  Eiver  are  at  a  somewhat  lower  level,  and  can  be  made 
very  productive;  large  quantities  of  hay  are  prepared  every  season. 
Inasmuch  as  an  Indian  reservation  has  been  made  on  Eoss  Fork,  we 
may  have  some  experiments  in  agriculture  on  these  plains  in  a  short 




We  will  not  take  our  leave  of  Fort  Hall  without  a  word  of  thanks  to 
the  ofi&cers  of  that  post  for  their  hospitable  courtesy  to  us.  We  remained 
in  this  beautiful  locality,  a  real  oasis  it  might  be  called,  two  days,  rest- 
ing our  animals  and  laying  in  supplies  and  making  repairs.  Every 
facility  that  could  possibly  be  provided  for  us,  was  granted  by  Captain 
J.  E.  Putnam,  the  officer  in  command,  as  well  as  by  Lieutenant  Wilson, 
commissary  and  quartermaster.  The  manner  in  which  Captain  Putnam 
extended  the  courtesies  of  the  post  to  all  my  party  was  even  more 
grateful  than  the  material  afforded.  The  assistance  we  obtained  here 
advanced  our  explorations  several  days  of  time.  Fort  Hall  is  a  small 
but  exceedingly  neat  post,  which  was  constructed  by  the  officer  at  pres- 
ent in  command  about  one  year  ago,  and  is  located  in  a  beautiful,  fer- 
tile, grassy  valley,  among  the  foot-hills  on  the  east  side  of  the  Snake 
Eiver  Basin,  about  forty  miles  east  of  the  old  Fort  Hall.  Numerous 
streams  of  pure  water  have  been  conveyed,  by  artificial  channels,  all 
through  and  around  the  grounds,  so  that,  in  the  dry  season,  when  the 
vegetation  of  the  surrounding  country  is  parched  by  the  sun's  rays,  it  is 
here  as  fresh  and  green  as  in  spring-time.  During  the  winter,  the  waters 
coming  from  Warm  Springs,  about  two  miles  above  the  post,  aever 
freeze  over,  and  the  whole  valley  is  protected  from  the  cold  winds  by 
the  surrounding  hills,  so  that  I  do  not  hesitate  to  regard  it  as  one  of  the 
most  desirable  spots  in  Idaho.  'No  finer  locality  for  a  military  post 
could  have  been  selected  in  this  region. 

In  the  afternoon  of  June  23,  we  left  this  pleasant  resting-place  and  the 
kind  hospitality  of  its  officers  with  reluctance,  and  made  our  camp  on 
Blackfoot  Fork,  about  seven  miles  to  the  northward.  This  is  a  pretty 
stream  about  30  feet  wide,  and  6  to  8  feet  deep,  taking  its  rise  near  Soda 
Springs,  and  draining  a  large  area.  All  through  the  valleys  of  the  main 
stream  and  its  branches,  are  this  results  of  the  basaltic  overflow,  and  in 
its  passage  through  the  mountains  it  has  carved  out  a  deep  caiion 
through  basalts,  limestones,  and  quartzites.  After  leaving  the  moun- 
tains it  flows  across  the  plains  with  a  swift  current,  about  thirty  miles^ 
over  a  floor  of  basalt,  to  the  Snake  Eiver.  From  Fort  Hall  the  road 
winds  among  low  hills,  underlaid  by  the  light-gray  marls  and  sands  of 
the  Pliocene,  with  some  quite  high  ridges  or  hills  of  blown  sand.  In 
some  instances  the  loose  sand  is  so  deep  as  to  impede  traveling.  The 
bottoms  of  Blackfoot  Creek  are  quite  sandy,  and  the  vast  quantities  of 
fresh-water  shells  scattered  about  formed  a  noticeable  feature,  and  indi- 
cated an  excess  of  molluscous  life. 

On  the  morning  of  the  24th  I  followed  up  the  south  side  of  Blackfoot 
Creek  to  the  mouth  of  the  caiion.  The  lower  hills  are  covered  with 
igneous  rocks.  The  higher  ridges  have  a  trend  about  northwest  and 
south-east,  and  appear  to  form  irregular  anticlinals.  Sometimes  a  cap  of 
basalt  will  lap,  roof-like,  on  to  the  ends  of  these  ridges  as  they  extend 
down  to  the  plains.  This  bed  of  basalt  inclines  more  or  less,  on  the  sides 
of  the  ridges,  but  gradually  becomes  horizontal  in  the  plains.  A  careful 
examination  of  one  of  the  ridges  showed  it  to  be  composed  of  quartzites, 
inclining  northeast  at  a  high  angle,  with  the  external  somber  steel-gray 
hue  that  strata  of  all  ages  seem  to  have  when  affected  by  contact  with 
the  igneous  rocks  in  their  outflow.  Over  the  quartzites,  and  conform- 
ing to  them,  are  strata  of  Carboniferous  limestones.  At  the  point  where 


the  Blackfoot  Creek  emerges  into  the  plains,  the  basaltic  walls  on  either 
side  are  50  to  60  feet  high,  and  higher  up  the  caSon  the  channel  passes 
through  ridges  of  limestone  and  quartzite  at  right  angles,  1,000  to  1,500 
feet  above  the  plain. 

Erom  Blackfoot  Creek  we  traveled  over  a  nearly  dead  level  to 
Taylor's  Bridge,  the  crossing  of  Snake  Eiver,  eighteen  miles  dis- 
tant. Far  distant  to  the  west  the  three  'buttes  can  be  distinctly  seen, 
like  isolated  fragments  of  mountains  in  the  plains ;  still  farther  to 
the  west  can  be  seen,  on  a  clear  day,  the  dim  outlines  of  the  Salmon. 
Eiver  Eanges.  To  the  east  are  a  series  of  broken  or  irregular  ranges, 
with  low  grassy  foot-hills  in  front,  usually  rising  1,000  to  1,500  feet  above 
ihe  plains,  but  with  here  and  there  a  high  peak,  2,000  to  2,500  feet  in 
height,  covered  with  snow.  That  this  basaltic  outflow  occurred  at  a  time 
when  this  vast  basin  was  occupied  by  the  waters  of  a  lake,  I  believe,  from 
the  fact  that  all  the  lower  portion  is  exceedingly  compact  and  heavy  in  its 
texture,  and  the  surface,  though  sometimes  full  of  cavities,  must  have 
cooled  under  a  moderate  pressure  of  water  at  least.  After  this  basalt 
ceased  to  flow  the  lake  continued  on,  so  that  a  superficial  deposit  of 
sand  and  fine  volcanic  dust,  varying  from  10  to  50  feet,  covered  the  great 
basaltic  cap.  During  the  dry  season  of  summer  this  volcanic  dust  be- 
comes a  sort  of  impalpable  powder,  filling  the  air  with  clouds  to  such  an 
exteat  as  almost  to  suffocate  man  and  beast. 

At  Taylor's  Bridge  the  waters  of  Snake  Eiver  rush  with  great  velocity 
through  the  narrow  gorge-like  channel  which  they  have  worn  out  of  the 
basaltic  floor.  The  walls  on  either  side  form  excellent  sections,  and  in 
the  autumn,  when  the  river  is  low,  expose  100  feet  or  more  of  the  basalt, 
with  all  the  varieties  of  texture.  These  walls  show  an  irregular  columnar 
structure  or  jointage,  and  the  decomposition  or  erosion  is  greatly  aided 
by  this  condition.  The  different  layers  show  clearly  the  different  periods 
of  effusion,  and  in  some  instances  the  lowest  portions  indicate  that, 
after  the  great  mass  had  cooled  and  become  solid,  fluid  basalt  had  been 
thrust  up,  showing  a  texture  and  color  much  like  modern  lava,  only 
more  compact.  But  the  most  interesting  feature  in  this  locality  is  the 
existence  of  numerous  cavities,  worn  into  the  solid  basalt,  which  are 
usually  called  "pot-holes."  These  "pot-holes"  occur  by  thousands  on 
both  sides  of  the  river,  for  miles  up  and  down,  varying  in  diameter  from 
a,  few  inches  to  several  feet.  They  are  very  distinct  on  the  walls  of  the 
river  channel,  where  the  latter  seem  to  have  been  split  down  from  top  to 
bottom.  Many  of  them  have  in  them,  even  at  this  time,  the  rounded 
masses,  which  by  constant  agitation  of  the  waters  have  worn  out  the 
cavities.  Some  of  these  holes  are  2  to  3  feet  deep,  although  not  more 
than  4  to  6  inches  in  diameter.  The  examples  of  degradation  by  exfolia- 
tion are  finely  exhibited  here,  so  that  the  basalt  itself  would  seem  to 
have  assumed  aspheroidal  shape  in  cooling,  and  is  now  falling  in  pieces 
by  concentric  layers. 

From  Taylor's  Bridge  we  traveled  along  the  west  side  of  the 
river  to  Market  Lake,  a  distance  of  twenty  miles.  To  the  east  of 
our  camp,  near  the  entrance  of  Henry's  Fork,  are  two  rather  high 
flat-topped  basaltic  huttes,  which  have  the  appearance  of  extinct 
craters.  Their  summits  are  600  to  800  feet  above  the  plains  around 
them.  The  rim  of  the  south  hutte  is  much  broken  down.  They  were, 
undoubtedly,  centers  of  effusion  for  the  lava.  Far  in  the  distance, 
seventy  or  eighty  miles  a  little  south  of  east,  the  Tetons  loom  up 
grandly,  with  the  form  of  shark's  teeth.  To  the  north  of  them,  and 
quite  distinctly  visible,  is  Mount  Madison,  one  of  the  finest  peaks  in  the 
northern  ranges  of  the  Eocky  Mountains.    To  the  west  of  Market  Lake 



are  some  moderately  high  basaltic  ridges,  the  highest  portion  of  whicli 
has  received  the  name  of  Kettletop  Butte.  Market  Lake  is  a  kind  of 
sink,  probably  produced  by  the  spring  overflow  of  Snake  Eiver,  and  is 
entirely  dry  the  greater  portion  of  the  year. 

On  the  morning  of  June  26, 1  started  eastward  from  Market  Station 
toward  the  Mittes,  near  the  bend  of  Snake  River.  The  road  wound  along 
low  basaltic  hills,  which  really  form  a  marked  feature  over  a  large  portion 
of  this  basin.  At  the  present  time  the  surface  is  perfectly  dry,  but  at 
some  period  in  the  past  little  streams  circulated  all  over  the  surface. 

Fig.  3. 


wearing  out  their  valleys  through 
the  basaltic  crust,  leaving  portions 
like  broad  table-tops,  (Fig.  3,)  occu- 
pying a  greater  or  less  area.  From 
beneath  these  fragments  of  the 
crust,  the  loose  sands  have  been 
washed  out  all  around,  so  that  the 
overlai^ping  edges  have  fallen 
down  in  every  directiou,  from  a 
common  center  in  many  instances. 

It  would  appear  that  these  hills  show  that  there  were  several  periods 
of  overflow  of  basalt,  that  beneath  the  sand  is  another  floor,  and  upon 
this  was  deposited  at  the  bottom  of  a  lake  a  thickness  of  several  feet 
of  sand  before  the  upper  floor  of  basalt  was  formed.  The  northern  por- 
tion of  the  basin  is  covered  with  thick  beds  of  sand,  into  which  the 
wheels  of  our  wagons  would  sink  2  or  3  feet  at  times.  On  Camas  Creek 
are  some  interesting  sand  dunes.  On  the  northeast  side  are  some 
conspicuous  hills  of  blown  sand,  visible  at  a  distance  of  twenty  to  forty 
miles,  which  indicate  that  the  direction  of  the  winds  is  from  the  south- 
west. Dry  Creek,  which  in  the  spring  season  affords  a  channel  for  a  large 
body  of  water,  forms  a  caiion  in  the  basaltic  floor,  with  walls  50  feet 
high.  In  midsummer  there  is  no  running  water.  On  this  creek  there 
is  a  stage-station  called  "  Hole  in  the  Wall,"  which  derives  its  name 
from  a  remarkable  cave  in  the  basaltic  rocks.  About  a  mile  west  o-f  the 
station  there  is  a  depression  in  the  level  plain  30  by  50  feet,  where  the 
rocks  seem  to  have  sunk,  revealing  on  the  north  side  quite  a  large 
opening.  This  opening  or  cave  connects  with  others  to  an  indefinite 
extent,  under  the  great  basalt  floor.  We  examined  several  of  these 
caves,  which  were  connected  together  only  by  small  openings  in 
the  partition  walls,  each  with  dimensions  of  100  to  200  feet  in  width 
and  length,  and  30  to  50  feet  deep.  The  bottoms  of  the  caverns  show  un- 
mistakable evidence  of  having  once  formed  a  river-bed.  The  water  still 
flows  at  times  along  the  channel.  Some  person  had  dug  a  hole  about  10 
feet  deep,  which  showed  the  layers  of  deposition  of  sand  and  clay  as  per- 
fectly as  along  the  banks  of  any  of  our  little  streams.  We  see  by  this 
illustration  (Fig.  4)  that  underneath  this  basaltic  crust  streams  of  water 

Fig.   4. 

BASALT      FLOOR,      U  NT5  ERLAID      WITH      PLIOCENE      BElaS. 

have  worn  in  the  past,  and  may  be  now,  wearing  out  their  channels  toward 
Snake  Eiver,  and  that  this  may  be  only  one  of  numerous  examples  in  this 


great  basin.  We  can  also  see  how  readily  such,  rivers  as  Camas,  Medicine 
Lodge,  Grodins,  and  many  others  disappear  in  the  plains,  and  find  their  way, 
from  ten  to  thirty  miles,  to  Snake  Eiver,  underneath  this  basaltic  floor. 
Before  leaving  this  interesting  region,  I  wish  to  add  a  few  general  re- 
marks in  regard  to  what  may  be  very  jiroperly  called  the  Snake  Eiver 
Basin.  There  is  here  a  broad,  nearly  level  plain,  from  seventy-five  to 
one  hundred  miles  in  width,  and  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  two  hundred 
miles  in  length,  surrounded  on  all  sides  by  mountain  ranges.  This  basin 
follows  the  course  of  Snake  Eiver,  and  is  really  an  expansion  of  the  val- 
ley; and  it  at  first  extends  from  the  northeast  to  the  southwest, 
bends  around  west,  and  then  continues  northwesterly  toward  Boise 
City.  The  mountains  on  either  side  form  a  series  of  more  or  less  lofty 
ranges,  some  of  the  more  prominent  summits  rising  to  a  height  of  10,000 
feet.  These  ranges  appear  to  the  eye,  from  any  one  point  of  view,  to 
trend  about  north  and  south,  but  the  trend  of  the  aggregate  ranges  is 
plainly  a  little  west  of  north  and  east  of  south.  Between  these  ranges 
are  valleys  of  greater  or  less  breadth,  varying  from  one  to  five  miles  in 
width,  oftentimes  of  great  beauty  and  fertility,  through  which  wind 
some  of  the  numerous  branches  which  flow  into  Snake  Eiver.  The  great 
basin  is  entirely  covered  with  a  bed  of  basalt  of  quite  modern  date,  (Fig. 
4,)  and  this  basalt  has  set  to  a  greater  or  less  distance  up  the  valleys  of  all 
these  streams.  It  extends  up  the  Port  Neuf  Valley  twenty  or  thirty 
miles.  The  American  Falls  are  formed  by  the  descent  of  Snake  Eiver 
over  the  basalt.  I  believe  that  this  vast  basin  has  been  worn  out  of 
the  mountain  ranges  by  erosion  ;  that  the  three  buttes  and  other  frag- 
ments of  ranges  scattered  over  the  i)lains  serve  as  monuments  in  proof 
of  this  statement.  This  basin  was  also  the  bed  of  a  lake  which  proba- 
bly originated  during  the  Pliocene  period.  At  any  rate,  I  have  been 
unable  to  discover  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  this  basin  any  Tertiary 
beds  of  older  date  than  the  Pliocene;  and  underneath  the  basaltic 
crust  there  is  a  considerable  thickness  of  the  deposit.  The  effusion  of 
the  basalt  was  one  of  the  latest  events,  and  must  have  merged  well  on  to 
our  present  period.  The  average  elevation  above  the  sea  is  from  4,000 
to  5,500  feet.  Our  camp  on  the  Blackfoot  Fork  was  4,324  feet,  which 
was  at  least  twenty  miles  above  Snake  Eiver  east;  and,  inasmuch  as  the 
basin  extends  down  Snake  Eiver,  the  valley  below  the  American  Falls, 
and  near  Boise  City,  cannot  be  over  4,000  feet,  and  may  be  less,  while 
near  the  northern  rim  the  elevation  is  5,730  feet.  From  the  great 
basin  of  Snake  Eiver  we  ascended  the  hills  that  form  the  northern  rim 
over  a  divide  6,200  feet  high,  with  hills  on  either  side  rising  1,200  to 
1,500  feet  higher.  All  these  hills  are  capped  with  beds  of  basalt,  which 
incline  southward  toward  the.  basin  at  various  angles,  from  5^*  to  10°. 
Where  the  rocks  can  be  seen  they  are  plainly  igneous,  but  as  we  ap- 
proach Pleasant  Valley  the  hills  are  so  covered  with  a  drift  deposit  that 
it  is  seldom  the  underlying  rocks  can  be  seen.  The  surface  here,  for 
miles  in  extent,  is  made  up  of  short,  abrupt  hills,  generally  one  main 
sharp  ridge,  with  a  great  number  of  side  ridges  extending  from  it. 
These  hills  are  covered  over  with  grass.  The  rocks  that  are  scattered 
thickly  over  the  surface,  and  enter  largely  into  the  composition  of  these 
superficial  deposits,  are  rounded  bowlders  of  quartzites  mostly.  The 
distance  from  our  camp  on  Dry  Creek,  in  the  Snake  Basin,  was  sixteen 
and  a  half  miles.  The  little  stream  that  flows  through  Pleasant  Valley 
emerges  from  a  canon,  which  has  nearly  vertical  walls  of  basalt,  with 
an  irregular  bedding,  but  with  jointage  quite  perfect,  fracturing  into 
columnar  masses.  A  vast  amount  of  debris  has  fallen  down  the  sides  of 
the  walls  and  into  the  bed  of  the  stream.    Some  of  the  rock  is  very 


compact  in  texture ;  other  portions  rough,  vesicular,  much  like  the  basalt 
in  Snake  Eiver  Basin. 

On  the  morning  of  June  29,  we  left  the  beautiful  valLey  behind  ns,  and, 
traveling  9  miles  north,  crossed  the  water  "  divide"  of  the  Rocky  Moun- 
tains. Od  the  west  side  of  the  road,  for  ten  or  fifteen  miles,  the  rounded, 
grass-covered  hills  prevailed,  and  over  the  surface, quartzite  bowlders,  min- 
gled with  some  sandstones,  were  scattered  thickly  everywhere.  In  the  sides 
of  the  ravines  were  numerous  bare  spots,  which  revealed  a  deposit  of  yel- 
lowish-brown sand.  There  is  evidently  a  very  extensive  modern  deposit 
all  over  the  belt  of  country  which  forms  what  I  will  call  the  water  di- 
vide— a  belt  from  ten  to  twenty  miles  in  width,  in  which  the  drainage 
gathers  full  force  on  the  one  side  toward  the  Pacific,  and  on  the  other 
toward  the  Atlantic.  The  elevation  along  the  "  divide  "  is  6,480  feet.  To 
the  west  is  a  range  of  mountains  reachiug  up  above  the  limit  of  vegeta- 
tion, among  the  snows.  We  measured  one  of  the  high  limestone  peaks 
and  found  it  9,704  feet ;  but  there  were  several  others  still  higher  far- 
ther to  the  west,  which  must  have  been  10,000  feet  high.  These  mount- 
ains are  concealed  high  up  around  their  sides  with  the  drift  deposit 
mentioned  above,  so  that  their  examination  is  rendered  quite  diflicult. 
The  mountains,  so  far  as  we  could  examine  them,  seem  to  be  composed 
of  a  great  thickness  of  carboniferous  limestones,  capped  with  quartzite 
and  quartzitic  sandstones.  The  first  range  has  four  prominent  cones, 
with  several  smaller  ones,  thewhole  having  a  general  trend  about  north 
and  south,  with  an  inclination  to  the  west  25°.  On  the  east  side  of  the 
road  were  high,  ridge-like  hills,  capped  with  basalt,  all  inclining  to  a 
moderate  angle  southward  toward  Snake  Eiver.  Wherever  any  of  the 
branches  of  Dry  Creek  cut  through  the  grass-covered  hills,  or  ridges, 
caiLons  are  formed  with  vertical  basaltic  walls.  This  igneous  rock 
seems  to  be  very  homogeneous  in  composition,  except  that  some  por- 
tions may  be  more  compact  in  texture  than  others.  The  surface  of  the 
whole  country  is  exceedingly  picturesque,  diversified  by  lawn,  terrace, 
ridge,  and  rounded  hutte,  with  most  beautiful  grassy  ravines.  Where 
the  drift  deposits  are  not  too  uniform  and  thick,  we  find  exposed  here 
and  there  outcroppings  of  a  yellowish  calcareous  sandstone,  which  is 
probably  of  the  age  of  the  lignite  beds  of  the  West.  No  indications  of 
coal  were  observed,  but  leaves  of  deciduous  trees,  like  those  found  in 
the  vicinity  of  the  coal-beds  in  other  places,  were  found  here.  These 
sandstones  form  long  ridges,  inclining  east  about  10°.  The  rock  is  more 
or  less  firm  and  compact  5  some  of  it  is  a  greenish  quartzite.  Here  and 
there,  on  the  summits  of  the  ridges,  are  beds  of  basalt,  showing  igne- 
ous outflow  at  a  modern  date.  Indeed  these  basaltic  caps  on  the  hills 
have  presented  many  connected  sections  for  examination  which  would 
otherwise  have  been  obscure,  and  fragmentary  from  erosion.  Far 
to  the  west  may  be  seen  range  after  range  of  mountains  running 
nearly  north  and  south;  as  they  extend  down  into  Snake  Basin 
they  seem  to  run  out  into  the  plain,  so  as  to  present  an  echelon  appearance. 
The  ranges,  so  far  as  we  can  see,  are  the  eastern  portions  of  some 
great  central  axis,  which  may  be  the  Salmon  Eiver  Eange.  I  have 
not  been  able  to  extend  my  observations  so  far  west ;  but  the  ridges, 
so  far  as  I  could  examine  them,  of  which  there  were  a  number  ex- 
tending over  a  belt  of  fifty  miles  in  width,  appear  to  incline  east- 
ward. The  abruj)t  sides  of  the  west,  the  sloping  sides  on  the  east, 
the  force  as  well  as  the  material  which  have  modified  and  given  form  to 
the  surface,  must  have  come  from  the  west,  inasmuch  as  on  the  western 
or  abrupt  sides  of  the  mountains  and  hills  th6re  is  the  greatest  accumu- 
lation of  drift-bowlders.    The  loftiest  portions  of  the  ranges  seem  to  have 


been  elevated  througli  tlie  more  .modern  formations.  The  high  group 
of  mountain  peaks  to  the  southwest  of  Junction  Station  are  composed 
mostly  of  Carboniferous  limestones  and  quartzites.  The  series  of  rocks 
as  exposed  here  may  be  arranged  in  ascending  order  as  follows :  First. 
A  series  of  reddish,  yellow  and  brown  calcareous  shales.  Secondly.  Lime- 
stones, the  upper  portion  of  which  is  a  coarse  conglomerate,  made  up 
mostly  of  water- worn  masses  of  limestones,  with  abundant  tbssiis,  Spi- 
rifer^  Productiis,  Corals,  Crinoid  stems,  with  Athyris  suhtUeta.  Thirdly. 
Capping  the  mountain  is  a  quartzose  sandstone  light-gray  or  weathering  to 
a  dark-brown,  with  a  reddish  tinge.  In  the  valley  of  a  little  creek  that 
cuts  the  hills  on  the  north  side  of  the  road  near  Junction  Station,  I  en- 
deavored to  ascertain  the  character  of  the  formations  as  far  as  they  were 
exposed.  Commencing  at  the  base,  we  find  a  yellow  arenaceous  cl  ay,  pass- 
in  g  up  into  a  yellow  sandstone,  rather  friable,  sometimes  quite  fine-grained ; 
again  a  sort  of  pudding-stone  or  pebbly  conglomei-ate.  50  to  100  feet 
above  is  a  curious  conglomerate  made  up  mostly  of  water-worn  masses 
of  Carboniferous  limestone,  varying  in  size  from  the  fraction  of  an  inch 
to  several  inches  in  diameter.  The  thickness  of  the  entire  group  of  rock 
I  estimate  at  from  1,500  to  2,000  feet.  Still  further  to  the  northward 
are  rounded  grassy  hills  composed  of  softer  beds  with  a  reddish  tinge, 
l)assing  gradually  into  brick-red  beds,  which  may  be  Jurassic  or  Triassic. 
Eed  Eock  Valley  is  very  beautiful  to  the  eye.  The  stream  is  about 
twenty  yards  wide,  with  a  narrow  valley,  north  of  the  junction,  but 
toward  its  source  it  expands  out  to  a  width  of  ten  miles,  forming  a 
splendid  upland  meadow.  This  valley  extends  up  twenty-five  miles, 
with  an  average  of  ten  miles  in  width.  On  the  north  side  of  this  stream 
there  is  a  high  and  quite  picturesque  ridge,  composed  wholly  of  the  red 
beds,  with  perhaps  some  gray  Jurassic  rocks  on  the  summit.  The  dip  is 
})lainly  northeast,  and  varies  from  15°  to  30°.  Toward  the  source  of  Eed 
Eock  Creek,  a  high  ridge  on  the  south  side  of  the  valley  reveals  the  rocks 
well,  inclining  southeast  10°  to  15°.  This  ridge  seems  to  have 
been  influenced  by  a  distant  range,  which  has  raised  the  beds  lower  down 
on  the  creek.  The  limestones  and  thick  group  of  beds  above,  extend 
off  in  detached  ridges,  like  steps,  toward  the  river  of  Snake  Basin. 
One  of  the  most  singular  features  of  this  region  is  the  immense 
thickness  of  coarse  conglomerate,  apparently  forming  a  portion  of  the 
Carboniferous  series.  Tiaese  conglomerates  appear  to  he  local,  and  occur 
nowhere  else,  so  far  as  my  observations  have  extended.  Inthehigh  j)eak 
near  Junction  Station  the  beds  are  well  shown  from  the  oldest  exposed 
in  this  region.  The  Carboniferous  rocks  lie  at  the  base,  and  gradually 
pass  up  into  the  conglomerates,  with  nowantof  couformability.  In  this 
mountain  an  immense  thickness  of  rock  seems  to  have  been  lifted  up 
vertically,  so  that  at  an  elevation  of  9,000  feet  they  are  nearly  horizontal, 
while  on  one  side  the  beds  lapped  down  so  as  to  be  nearly  vertical.  On 
the  summits  is  a  great  thickness  of  quartzites.  The  conglomerates 
seem  to  have  been  formed  of  pre-existing  Carboniferous  limestones 
almost  entirely.  The  cement  is  calcareous  in  some  instances,  itself  a 
limestone  of  fine  texture,  and  the  masses  of  limestone  and  other  rocks 
inclosed  have  been  very  much  rolled  in  waters.  How  great  an  area  this 
conglomerate  occupies  I  did  not  determine,  but  it  is  evidently  not  large, 
probably  not  over  fifty  or  one  hundred  square  miles.  Far  to  the  east- 
ward, seventy  to  eighty  miles  distant,  theTetons  are  distinctlj^  visible. 
For  a  hundred  and  fifty  miles  west  of  these  mountains  are  many  ranges  of 
hills,  some  of  them  rising  to  the  dignity  of  lofty  mountains,  between 
10,000  and  11,000  feet  above  the  sea,  with  no  rocks  older  than  Carbonif- 
erous exposed.   For  one  hundred  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  along  the 


Eocky  Mountain  "  divide"  the  series  of  rocks  exposed  may  be  summed  up 
as  Carboniferous,  Red  beds,  Jurassic  probably,  some  Cretaceous,  with 
patches  here  and  there  of  Eocene,  or  Upper  Cretaceous,  containing  im- 
pressions of  deciduous  leaves.  Igneous  rocks  have  also  been  thrust  up 
through  them  all  and  spread  over  the  summit.  These  have  shared  in 
the  later  movement  to  such  an  extent  as  to  incline  at  moderate  angles. 

About  two  miles  below  the  Junction  Station,  on  the  south  side  of  Eed 
Eock  Creek,  thereis  a  great  exposure  of  the  Carboniferous  conglomerates, 
dipping  21°  a  little  west  of  south.  The  creek  here  passes  through  a 
close  monoclinal  interval  for  half  a  mile,  and  then  opens  out  into  Eock 
Creek  Valley,  with  two  high  ridges,  with  yellow  and  red  beds  (Jurassic) 
at  their  base.  Eed  Eock  Creek  forms  one  of  the  head  branches  of  the 
Jefferson  Fork  of  the  Missouri,  and  rises  in  the  "divide."  It  receives 
its  name  from  the  numerous  exposures  of  the  brick-red  sandstones  (Ju- 
rassic) and  Cretaceous  clays  along  the  banks.  Along  the  streams  are  ter- 
races more  or  less  well  defined,  of  various  heights,  showing  the  water-line. 
About  five  miles  north  of  the  Junction  we  find  the  Pliocene  beds,  filling 
up  the  valleys  of  the  streams,  sometimes  reaching  a  thickness  of  several 
hundred  feet.  The  greater  portion  of  this  deposit  is  a  light-gray  marl, 
with  concretionary  masses,  and  a  sort  of  i)uddiug-stone.  In  these  con- 
cretions are  often  inclosed  masses  of  the  basalt,  which  occur  here  and 
there  ail  over  the  country.  While  we  have  the  evidence  of  a  period  of 
effusion  subsequent  to  the  deposition  of  these  lake-beds,  from  the  fact 
that  the  basalt-lies  over  them,  we  see  by  these  inclosed  masses,  frequently, 
that  there  were  other  periods,  either  before  or  during  the  Pliocene.  At  one 
locality  I  found  in  these  lake-deposits  the  fossil  remains  of  a  species  of 
AncJiitJierum,  and  a  land-snail,  Helix.  The  inclination  of  these  modern 
beds  is  west  5°.  In  passing  over  the  divide  from  Eed  Eock  Creek  to 
Black-tailed  Deer  Creek,  and  from  the  highest  point,  7,044  feet,  we  could 
look  back  on  a  large  extent  of  country  drained  by  the  different  branches 
of  these  streams. 

This  broad  valley,  like  most  of  those  in  the  west,  was  formed  by  ero- 
sion, and  has  been  filled  up  with  lakes,  at  the  bottoms  of  which  were  de- 
posited 500  to  1,000  feet  of  marls  and  sandy  clays,  during  the  later 
Tertiary  period.  Here  and  there,  these  deposits  have  been  stripped 
away,  showing  remnants  of  old  granite  ridges,  which  either  fill  up  the  val- 
leys, through  the  walls  of  which  the  streams  make  their  way,  or  they  are 
exposed  as  remnants  of  larger  ridges,  which  extended  originally  across 
the  valley.  Some  of  these  modern  beds  have  a  light  brick-red  appear- 
ance, somewhat  resembling  the  Jurassic  group.  Eeaching  the  drainage 
of  Black-tailed  Deer  Creek,  we  find  an  immense  development  of  the 
gneissic  strata,  inclining  about  west  30°  to  45°,  and  extending  about  eight 
miles.  There  are  alternate  beds  of  quartzites,  true  gneiss,  mica  schist, 
the  quartzites  largely  predominating.  There  are  also  thiclc  seams  of 
white  quartz.  Large  portions  of  the  area  occupied  by  the  metamorphic 
rocks  are  concealed  by  the  outpouring  of  basalt.  The  metamorphic 
beds  are  here  separated  from  the  Pliocene  deposits  by  a  deep  ravine  or 
dry  valley,  the  sides  of  the  former  having  a  regular  ^lope,  and  indicate 
a  sort  of  shore-line  for  this  lake.  Here  and  there  we  find  curious  local 
anticlinals  in  the  metamorphic  strata,  caused  by  the  elevation  during 
the  effusion  of  the  basalt.  On  the  west  side  of  Wild  Cat  Canon,  through 
which  the  road  passes  to  Black-tailed  Deer  Creek,  the  mountains  rise 
to  a  height  of  8,500  feet,  and  over  a  large  area  are  groups  of  the  harder 
feldspathic  quartzites,  which  have  resisted  erosion,  and  now  remain  like 
old  ruins,  and  present  a  very  picturesque  appearance.  These  quartzites, 
3  G  s 



l)y  tlf,ei.r  joiiitage  and  style  of  weathering,  present  some  admirable  rock 

studies,  (f/ig.  5.) 

In  the  area  drained  by  the  Black-tailed  Deer  Creek  and  its  branches 
there  is  a  large  open  upland  valley,  twenty  miles  from  north  to  south, 



and  thirty  miles  from  east  to  west,  underlaid  by  tlie  Pliocene  deposit?, 
inclining  gently  northwest,  influenced  probably  by  the  Black-tailed  Deer 

The     country    about    these 
sources  or  branches  of  the  Jef- 
ferson  fork   is  very   fine,   and 
api^ears  most  attractive  to  the 
eye,   with  a  fertile  soil,   excel- 
lent water,  and  well  adapted  for 
settlement,  except  that  the  win- 
ters must  be  very  severe.    The 
elevation  of  the  valleys  is  from 
6,000  to  7,000    feet, 'involving 
early  and  late  frosts,  and  deep 
winter  snows.    About  a  mile  be- 
fore Wild  Cat  Caiion  opens  into 
the  valley,  the  variegated  por-  ; 
phyries  commence,  a  dull  purj)-  ' 
lish  color  prevailing,  though  y el-   \ 
low  and  mottled  are  not   un-  [ 
common.     The  porphyries   ap-  i 
jDear  to  have  been  poured  out  ; 
over   the  metamorphic    rocks;   > 
from  the  south  side  of  the  Black-  •= 
tailed  Deer  Valley  they  project  | 
out  from  the  hills  in  beds  much  I 
like  basalt.    The  configuration  • 
of  the  surface  where  the  por-  \ 
phyries  prevail  is  quite  pecu-  \ 
liar — sharp,    rounded,     conical  ; 
l)eaks,  with  deep    ravines    or  i 
gorges.    These    peaks    are    all  j 
capped    with    the    porphyries.  | 
Immense     quantities    of     the  | 
broken  fragments  or  debris  lie  ; 
on  the  summits  and  sides  of  ; 
these  hills.    On  the  east  side  of  j 
the  valley  the    Pliocene    beds  ; 
reach  a  thickness  of  500  to  1,000  i 
feet,  and  are  composed  of  pud-  | 
ding-stones,  yellow  marls,  gray  I 
and    white   fine-grained    sand-  ' 
stones,  weathering  into  singular 
columnar  and  other    architect- 
ural forms.     All  the  rocks  con- 
tain more  or  less  lime.    Both 
Black-tailed  Deer  and  Stinking 
Water  Creeks  have  their  sources 
in  a  high  range  of  limestone 
mountains,  9,000  to  10,000  feet 
above  the  sea  level,  the  highest 
peaks  rising  at  least  2,000  feet 
above    the    valleys    of    these 
streams,  where  they  are  crossed 
by  the  road.    High  up  on  the 
sides  of  these  ridges,  reaching 


almost  to  tlie  summit,  are  large  quantities  of  drift  material,  and  the 
Tertiary  marls  appear  to  have  been  elevated  nearly  as  high.  Ail  the 
drift  is  local,  as  is  usual  in  these  mountain  regions,  and,  by  examining 
it  with  care,  fragments  of  the  different  kinds  of  rocks,  brought  to  the 
surface  in  the  vicinity,  may  be  found.  Of  course  the  later  Tertiary  beds 
are  made  up  of  the  eroded  materials  of  rocks  in  the  vicinity.  Much  of 
the  sediment  was  derived  from  the  Carboniferous  limestones,  and 
hence  their  marly  character.  The  apparent  inclination  of  these  great 
limestone  ridges  or  mountains  is  in  every  direction,  when  examined 
in  detail,  but  the  trend  of  the  ranges  is  about  northwest  and  southeast, 
and  the  aggregate  inclination  northeast,  although  some  of  the  strata 
in  the  highest  ridges  incline  north  60°  to  70°  5  another  i^ortion  north- 
west 15°.  There  is  a  somewhat  x>eculiar  feature  about  all  the  ridges 
since  leaving  the  Eocky  Mountain  "  divide,"  and  that  is  the  evidence, 
from  their  external  a]3i)earance,  of  comparatively  recent  elevation. 
The  outcropping  edges  of  the  strata  appear  as  if  they  had  been 
lifted  up,  without  any  of  the  usual  proofs  of  wearing  away  by  atmo- 
spheric influences,  and  the  debris  on  the  sides  and  about  the  base  would 
indicate  that  the  elevation  had  been  prolonged  up  to  the  present 
period.  On  the  summits  of  these  ridges,  are  great  quantities  of  dead 
pine-trees,  scattered  around  without  a  trace  of  any  younger  trees  or 
shrubs  to  take  their  places.  This  is  not  an  uncommon  feature  in  many 
portions  of  the  Eocky  Mountains.  May  it  not  be  possible  that  these 
mountain  ridges  are  slowly  rising  at  the  present  time ;  that  they  have 
reached  an  elevation  that  does  not  admit  of  the  continued  existence 
of  these  pines,  which  evidently  grew  well  under  favorable  conditions 
which  seem  now  to  have  entirely  passed  away*?  On  the  north  side 
of  Black-tailed  Deer  Creek,  there  is  another  exposure  of  the  gneissic 
rocks  in  a  series  of  uplifted  ridges,  inclining  about  northeast,  at  angles 
varying  from  30°  to  60°,  (Fig.  6.)  In  the  foreground  are  the  modern  ba- 
salts, with  an  irregular  columnar  structure  underlaid  with  modern 
Pliocene  deposits.  It  is  a  similar  exposure,  or,  perhaps,  a  portion 
of  the  same  exposure  on  the  south  side  i)reviously  described,  through 
which  Wildcat  Canon  passes  to  the  valley.  These  exposures  of  the 
gneissic  rocks  seem  to  be  local,  and  are  doubtless  due  to  the  stripping 
off  of  the  superincumbent  formations.  They  undoubtedly  form  the 
basis  rocks  of  the  whole  country.  In  the  mining  regions  they  are 
brought  to  the  surface  more  frequently,  and  occupy  much  larger  areas. 
The  broad,  beautiful  valley  of  the  Black-tailed  Deer  Creek  is  worn  out 
of  this  belt  of  gneissic  rbcks,  and  grows  broader  until  it  expands  out 
into  the  still  wider  valley  of  the  Beaver-head  Creek  to  the  northwest, 
about  twenty  miles  below  our  road.  In  these  granitoid  rocks  there  is 
the  usual  variety  of  texture,  some  composed  of  an  aggregate  of  crys- 
tals of  feldspar,  decomposing  readily  like  sandstone ;  others  with  a 
schistose  structure  from  their  micaceous  character  5  others  so  hard  as  to 
resist  the  influences  of  the  atmosphere — a  kind  of  feldspathic  quartzite  in 
large  angular  blocks.  Are  not  these  remnants  of  old  mountain-ranges 
that  have  resisted,  to  some  extent,  the  powei"ful  erosive  influences  that 
have  been  brought  to  bear  upon  them  for  many  geological  ages  ? 

From  the  valley  of  Black-tailed  Deer'  Creek  we  passed  over  the 
"  divide"  to  the  sources  of  the  Stinking  Water.  Our  camp  in  the  valley 
was  5,973  feet,  but  the  elevation  of  the  divide  is  6,657  feet.  On  our  way 
over  we  found  here  and  there  jjatches  of  basaltic  rocks,  fragments  of  the 
great  crust  that  once  covered  all  the  modern  deposits  of  the  valleys.  On 
the  "  divide,"  at  the  head  of  a  cafion  that  leads  into  the  valley  of  Stink- 
ing Water,  are  some  rather  large  exi)osures  of  the  basalt,  with  a  sort  of 


bedding  wbicli  may  be  called  shelving,  or  a  splitting  into  layers  of  greater 
or  less  thickness,  depending  on  the  compactness  of  the  material.  Some- 
times the  modern  basalt  caps  the  qnartzites,  of  which  we  have  several 
examples  on  our  way  to  the  main  valley  of  the  Stinking  Waiter.  Still 
farther  down  we  find  a  branch  of  the  Stinking  Water  called  Sweet 
Water,  cutting  directly  through  a  mass  of  variegated  porphyries,  like 
those  in  Wild  Oat  CaSon,  forming  the  Sweet  Water  CaBou.  The  great 
variety  of  colors  which  these  rocks  ijresent,  the  height  and  abruptness 
of  the  walls,  and  the  style  of  weathering  on  the  suoiuiits,  give  to  the 
scenery  in  this  region  a  weird  kind  of  grandeur  and  beauty.  At  the 
base  of  the  walls  is  a  vast  quantity  of  debris,  composed  of  the  frag- 
ments of  porphyry.  The  sides  of  the  porphyritic  walls  show  a  regular 
bedding  like  strata,  in  layers  from  an  inch  to  a  foot  or  more  in  thickness. 
At  the  lower  end  of  the  caiion,  the  gneissic  beds  appear  beneath  the  por- 
phyries, showing  the  character  of  their  connection  admirably.  The 
former  rest  upon  the  upturned  edges  of  the  quartzites,  as  if  they  had  been 
poured  out  in  a  fluid  condition,  tilling  up  all  the  irregularities  of  the 

The  geological  character  of  this  immediate  region  may  be  expressed 
simi)ly  as  very  modern  basalt,  capping  rocks  of  different  ages,  which 
may  be  in  the  vicinity  of  the  point  of  effusion.  We  then  have  a  group 
of  modern  Tertiary  beds,  probably  Pliocene,  filling  up  the  valleys  and 
irregularities  of  the  surface  everywhere,  except  on  the  summits  of  the 
highest  mountains.  During  the  latter  portion  of  the  Tertiary  age,  the 
entire  northwest  seems  to  have  been  a  fresh-water  lake,  with  vast 
numbers  of  mountain  elevations  occupying  a  greater  or  less  area,  not 
unlike  some  of  our  inland  lakes  at  the  present  time,  on  a  small  scale, 
with  the  more  elevated  j)oints  and  mountain  ranges  rising  above  the 
surrounding  waters.  These  modern  deposits  have  been  elevated  also  to 
a  certain  extent,  as  there  is  in  many  instances  an  inclination  of  the 
strata  from  1°  to  5°.  These  cover  the  porphj^ries  which  were  efi'nsed  at 
a  period  far  back  in  the  past,  subsequent  to  the  deposition  of  the  former 
rocks  described,  but  how  much  further  back  into  the  past  I  found  no 
evidence  to  determine.  I  have  as  yet  been  able  to  find  the  porphy- 
ries only  in  connection  with  the  gneissic  rocks.  The  forces  which 
operated  to  lift  the  gneissic  rocks  must  have  acted  long  prior  to  those 
great  elevatory  movements  which  affected  the  sedimentary  strata,  and 
although  the  porphyries  seemed  to  have  flowed  out  over  the  gneiss 
since  the  strata  have  been  elevated  to  their  present  position,  it  is  noo 
possible  for  me  to  give  the  precise  geological  period  when  these  events 
occurred.  Usually  either  lower  Silurian  sandstone  or  Carboniferous 
limestone  rests  upon  the  metamorphic  rocks.  In  a  few  instances  the 
inclination  of  the  Paleozoic  beds  above  conform  with  the  granite 
rocks  below  in  such  a  way  that  I  have  been  led  to  believe  it  possible 
that  the  dynamic  movements  that  affected  both  groups  were  synchronous. 
But  in  most  instances  there  is  a  greater  or  less  want  of  conformity 
between  the  metamorphic  rocks  below  and  the  sedimentary  beds  of 
any  age  that  may  rest  upon  them.  The  next  group  of  rocks  is  com- 
posed of  stratified  gneiss  of  every  possible  texture  and  composition, 
from  the  most  durable  compact  feldspathic  quartzite  to  rotten  micaceous 
schist,  warped  and  folded  in  every  way.  After  passing  down  the  Sweet 
Water  Canon  about  five  miles,  we  come  out  into  an  open  valley,  or  a 
sort  of  expansion.  The  porphyries,  which  were  previously  horizontal  in 
their  position,  here  show  a  dip  of  20°,  and  about  midway  in  the  wall-like 
front  there  is  an  apparent  division  by  a  bed  of  volcanic  sandstones  about 


four  feet  in  thickuess.  There  were  three  periods  of  effusion :  first,  the 
outpouring  of  igneous  matter  over  the  granitoid  rocks  ;  secondly,  the  de- 
position in  water  of  about  four  feet  of  volcanic  sediment ;  and  thirdly,  an 
effusion  of  igneous  matter  again  like  tlie  first.  After  leaving  the  canon,  we 
come  out  into  an  expansion  of  the  valley,  about  ten  miles  in  length  and  an 
average  of  two  to  four  miles  in  width.  This  area  is  surrounded  on  all 
sides  by  ranges  of  mountains,  but  covered  with  a  thickness  of  several 
hundred  feet  of  modern  Tertiary  beds.  As  exposed  along  the  channel  of 
the  streams  we  have  at  the  base  50  to  80  feet  of  yellowish- white  and  creamy 
laminated  marls ;  then  100  feet  of  cream-colored  marly  sandstone  j  and 
overlying  this  an  indefinite  thickness  of  gray  sandstone  and  puddin  g-stone. 
These  modern  beds  jut  up  against  the  rotten  granites  on  the  south  side, 
inclining  toward  them  about  3°.  They  seem  to  be  entirely  influenced 
by  the  ranges  on  the  east  and  north  sides.  The  weathering  is  of  the 
same  architectural  character  as  the  well-known  "  bad  lands."  As  we 
leave  the  Sweet  Water  and  come  on  to  the  Stinking  Water,  the  bluffs 
of  Tertiary  are  quite  high,  80  to  100  feet,  comi)osed  of  alternate  layers 
of  sandstone  and  fine  marl.  The  sandstone  layers  are  quite  hard,  and 
in  the  process  of  weathering  project  like  shelves,  giving  to  the  verti- 
cal bluffs  a  singularly  rugged  appearance.  On  the  east  side  of  the  valley 
the  range  of  mountains  is  the  same  as  .those  about  the  sources  of  Black- 
tailed  Deer  Greek,  and  are  composed  of  limestones  and  quartzites  of  Car- 
boniferous age.  The  inclination  would  show  that  this  valley  formed  a  lake 
basin,  with  the  granites  on  the  west  side  as  a  shore-line,  and  a  monoclinal 
limestone  ridge  as  the  shore-line  on  the  east.  This  valley  is  well 
watered,  the  soil  is  fertile,  and  the  grazing  excellent,  and  already  most 
of  it  is  occupied  by  farmers  and  stock-raisers.  The  elevation  is  5,300 
to  5,400  feet,  and  inclosed,  as  it  is,  on  all  sides  by  mountains,  must  be 
protected  from  the  extremes  of  cold.  On  the  west  side  of  the  Stinking 
Water,  just  above  the  canon,  is  one  of  the  largest  springs  thus  far 
noticed  on  the  route.  It  must  have  been  in  operation  for  ages,  for  there 
are  beds  of  limestone  80  to  100  feet  in  thickness  precipitated  from  the 
water.  The  water  at  this  time  issues  out  of  a  basin  about  150  feet  above 
the  Stinking  Water,  and  covers  the  sides  of  the  hills  with  the  sediment. 
The  rock  varies  in  texture  from  a  compact  white  limestone  to  a  soft  spongy 
mass.  A  snow-white  efflorescence — soda,  i)erhaps — covers  the  surface 
in  some  places.  The  older  deposits  of  this  spring  form  the  most  beau- 
tiful white  limestone,  which  would  be  most  excellent  for  building  purposes 
or  for  burning  into  lime.  The  beds  dip  west  10°  to  20°.  This  is  a 
most  remarkable  dei)osifc,  though  a  local  one.  The  basis  or  underlying 
rocks  are  quartzites  and  granites,  inclining  east  40°  to  50°.  Overlying 
them,  further  down  the  stream,  in  the  caSon,  are  limestones  with  well- 
marked  Carboniferous  fossils.  About  five  miles  below  the  junction  of 
the  Sweet  Water  branch  with  the  Stinking  Water,  the  latter  stream 
passes  through  a  gorge  or  caiion,  and,  as  we  descend  the  streain  between 
the  narrow,  rugged  walls,  we  have  on  the  left  or  west  side  a  group  of 
quartzites  of  various  textures,  which  had  not  been  observed  previously. 
They  are  composed  of  an  aggregate  of  crystals  of  quartz,  brown  and  rusty 
drab-brown  color,  inclining  east  at  a  high  angle.  On  the  right  or  east  side 
are  the  overhanging  projecting  edges  of  beds  of  massive  quartzite,  rising 
800  to  1,000  feet  above  the  bed  of  the  creek.  The  streams  here  pass 
through  a  gorge  between  the  ridges  inclining  in  the  same  direction,  which 
I  have  called  a  monoclinal  interval.  We  here  find  exposed  one  of  the 
remarkable  series  of  quartzitic  strata  mentioned  above,  rising  to  the  sum- 
mits of  the  east  side  of  the  canon,  huge  cubic  blocks  of  which  have  fallen 
down  and  are  strewed  through  the  gorge.     Underneath  is  an  immense 




tliickness  of  black  micaceous  gneiss,  with  seams  of  wMte  quartz,  the 
coarse  feldspathic  granites,  literally  an  aggregate  of  large  crystals 
of  quartz  and  feldspar,  then 

underneath  the  black  gneiss  Fig.  7, 

again.  In  this  canon  there  is 
a  most  interesting  illustration 
of  the  weathering  of  the  red- 
dish feldspathic  granites  by  the 
peeling  off  in  thin  concentric 
layers,  or  as  I  have  denominated 
it  in  my  former  reports,  disin- 
tegration by  exfoliation.  I 
have  never  observed  a  more 
marked  example  anywhere  in 
the  West,  and  Fig.  7  shows  it 
well.  After  passing  through 
the  canon  a  distance  of  about 
three  miles,  the  road  bends 
to  the  north,  leaves  the  valley  of  Stinking  Water,  passes  over  a 
high  divide  to  Alder  Gulch,  in  which  Virginia  City  is  located.  On  the 
right  or  east  side  of  the  road,  the  rather  rounded  and,  in  some  instances, 
grass-covered  hills,  continue  all  the  way.  On  the  left  or  west  side,  the 
gneiss  and  quartzite  continue  for  a  short  distance,  when  the  mountain 
range,  which  has  hitherto  walled  us  in  on  the  west  side  of  the  road,  bends  a 
little  to  the  northwest,  and  extends  to  the  Jefferson  Valley,  parallel  with 
the  Stinking  Water,  and  rises  quite  abruptly,  2,000  feet  above  thechannel 
of  the  stream.  The  base  of  this  ridge  or  range  is  a  smooth  lawn-like  slope, 
down  to  the  margin  of  the  stream,  while  the  ridge  itself  is  composed  of 
massive  beds  of  limestone  inclining  60°  to  70^*,  the  outcropping  edges 
projecting  sharply  on  the  summits,  and  the  northeast  sides  sloping  down 
into  the  plain,  like  a  very  steep  roof.  The  valley  itself  is  a  beautiful 
and  fertile  one,  and  is  one  of  the  numerous  valleys  that  open  into  the 
Jefferson  Fork.  It  will  average  from  four  to  six  miles  in  width  and 
about  twenty  miles  in  length  below  the  canon,  and  is  covered  with  a 
moderate  thickness  of  the  Pliocene  deposits.  On  the  east  side  of  Stink- 
ing Water,  the  rocks  are  entirely  composed  of  gneiss,  of  the  usual  va- 
riety of  texture  and  composition,  the  strata  inclining  southwest  at 
various  angles,  so  that  the  Stinking  Water  really  flows  through  a 
synclinal  valley  from  the  canon  to  its  junction  with  Jefferson  Fork.  In 
the  valley  and  among  the  foot-hills  of  the  mountains,  are  here  and  there 
patches  or  remnants  of  the  great  basaltic  crust  that  must  at  one  time 
have  extended  over  most  of  the  area  occupied  by  the  valleys.  From  the 
Stinking  Water  to  Virginia  City,  a  distance  of  about  ten  miles,  the  rocks 
observed  were  of  metamorphic  origin,  with  here  and  there  indications  of 
the  effusion  of  basalt. 

Virgmia  City  is  located  in  the  center  of  one  of  the  richest  mining  dis- 
tricts of  Montana,  and  a  description  of  the  surrounding  country  would 
apply,  in  most  particulars,  to-  all  the  mining  portions  of  the  Territory. 
The  precious  metals,  as  gold  and  silver,  are  found,  so  far  as  my  ob- 
servations have  extended,  entirely  in  the  metamorphic  rocks  which  hold 
a  position  below  all  groups  of  strata  that  we  have  been  in  the  habit  of 
regarding  as  Paleozoic.  Whether  they  belong  to  the  series  denominated 
in  Canada  the  Huronian  or  Laurentian,  we  have  no  data  to  decide  posi- 
tively ;  but  inasmuch  as  they  are  all  clearly  stratified  rocks,  they  are  plainly 
of  sedimentary  origin.  These  rocks  underlie  the  entire  country  west  of  the 
MississipiDi.    We  may  safely  assume  this  position  whether  they  are  vis- 


ible  at  the  surface  or  not.  As  a  rule,  they  are  separated  into  thin  layers, 
with  a  great  variety  of  texture,  from  the  most  unyieldiag  quartzite  to 
rotten  gneiss.  There  are  also  distinct  intercalated  layers  of  clay  or  sand. 
As  a  rule,  these  rocks  become  more  massive  as  we  descend;  the  softer 
beds  of  clay  and  sand  cease,  until  we  find  nothing  but  massive  beds,  hun- 
dreds of  feet  in  thickness,  of  homogeneous  granite.  All  these  rocks  have 
suffered  erosion  to  a  greater  or  less  degree — sometimes  they  are  entirely 
swept  away,  down  to  the  massive  granites.  It  is  in  the  series  of  meta- 
morphic  strata,  estimated  to  be  several  thousand  feet  in  thickness,  that 
the  principal  deposits  of  gold  and  silver,  in  the  Territories  of  Montana 
and  Colorado,  are  found.  The  altitude  of  these  rocks  depends,  of  course, 
on  the  forces  that  have  operated  in  the  past  to  elevate  the  ranges  of 
mountains.  At  any  rate,  there  is  no  uniformity  any  more  than  there  is 
in  the  surface  of  the  country  at  the  present  time.  We  know  one  thing, 
however,  that  as  a  rule  the  oldest  of  these  granite  rocks  crown  the  loftiest 
of  the  mountain  ranges.  The  relations  which  the  well-marked,  stratified 
granites  sustain  to  the  older  and  more  massive  granites  is  nowhere 
better  shown  than  in  the  mining  regions  of  Colorado,  especially  at 
Central  City  and  Georgetown. 

In  general  terms,  we  speak  of  the  geological  structure  of  Montana  as 
extremely  simple ;  and  so  it  appears  to  be  ;  but  when  wrought  out  with 
the  care  that  will  be  absolutely  necessary  to  a  truthful  delineation  of 
the  details,  it  will  be  found  to  be  exceedingly  complicated.  We  maybe 
examining  one  of  the  mining  districts,  for  example,  and  we  may  con- 
clude that  only  metaraorphic  strata  will  be  found  over  the  entire  area 
occupied  by  the  mines  ;  but  perhaps,  on  a  careful  study  of  the  details,  we 
shall  find  everywhere  scattered  about  patches  of  all  the  Paleozoic  rocks 
known  in  the  West,  and  quite  possibly  portions  of  the  Mezozoic  and  Ceno- 
zoic  also.  In  the  valleys  and  gulches,  upon  the  summits  of  the  highest 
mountains,  and  in  the  most  unexpected  places,  fragments  of  the  Carbon- 
iferous limestones  will  be  found.  We  may  take  the  position  therefore 
that  the  entire  surface  of  the  country  has  been  at  one  time  covered  with 
a  greater  or  less  thickness  of  sedimentary  rocks.  Itis  possible,  though  not 
at  all  probable,  that  there  are  restricted  areas  in  this  portion  of  the  West 
where  no  unchanged  sedimentary  deposits  have  ever  existed,  and  it  is  pos- 
sible that  over  considerable  areas  no  strata  newer  than  Carboniferous  may 
have  been  laid  down.  There  is  reason  to  believe,  however,  that  the  entire 
series  of  strata  known  in  the  northwest,  above  the  metamorphic  rocks, 
were  originally  deposited  all  over  the  Territory  of  Montana.  We  may 
conclude,  therefore,  that  the  erosive  forces  have  operated  with  great 
power  in  the  district  around  Virginia  City,  stripping  bare  to  the  meta- 
morphic beds,  large  areas.  In  the  mining  districts,  in  connection  with 
these  agencies,  was  the  wearing  out  of  so  many  gorges,  or  gulches,  as  they 
are  usually  termed  by  the  miners.  We  may  take  as  an  illustration  some 
rather  x)rominent  streams  in  the  vicinity  of  Virginia  City;  and  if  a  care- 
ful detailed  survey  were  made,  we  should  find  that  there  is  a  main  val- 
ley or  gulch,  with  great  numbers  of  side-gulches  running  up  into  the 
heart  of  the  mountains  on  either  side.  The  main  stream  may  be  fifty  to 
one  hundred  miles  in  length,  and  on  either  side  are  these  branch  gulches, 
usually  from  three  to  ten  miles  long.  These  gulches  may  be  carved 
entirely  out  of  the  massive  strata,  or  they  may  be  partly  due  to  erosion, 
•and  partly  to  an  interval,  formed  during  elevation,  that  is,  a  monoclinal 
valley.  The  influence  of  the  erosive  forces,  which  acted  with  great  power, 
and  probably  through  long  periods  of  time,  though  widely  distributed, 
are  local  in  their  results.  In  other  words,  while  the  erosive  forces  were 
in  operation  all  over  the  West,  there  was  no  widespread  connection, 


SO  that  the  eroded  materials  of  one  locality  were  swept  far  away  to 
widely  separated  localities.  Therefore,  the  superficial  deposits  of  the 
mining  districts,  which  are  usually  very  extensive,  have  their  origin 
in  the  immediate  districts  where  they  are  now  found.  We  may  take 
as  an  illustration  the  Alder  Gulch,  which  is  about  twelve  miles  in 
length,  and  varies  from  an  eighth  to  half  a  mile  in  width,  and  is  literally 
filled  up  with  sand,  gravel,  and  bowlders,  all  of  which  were  derived  from 
the  mountains  in  the  immediate  vicinity — indeed,  within  the  limits  of 
the  drainage  of  that  gulch.  We  may  thus  determine  with  a  good  degree 
of  certainty  that,  when  we  find  placer-diggings,  the  source  of  the  gold 
thus  found  is  not  far  distant,  and  is  most  probably  within  the  limits  of 
the  drainage  of  that  locality.  The  origin  of  the  i^lacer-gold  is  undoubt- 
edly due  to  the  erosion  of  the  rocks  in  which  it  was  originally  precipi- 
tated ;  and  inasmuch  as  the  gold,  so  far  as  we  now  know,  is  found 
altogether  in  the  gneissic  strata,  its  existence  in  the  various  gulches, 
among  the  sand  and  gravel,  is  due  to  the  grinding  up  by  water  of  the 
surface  of  the  metamorphic  rocks  in  the  vicinity.  Instances  have 
occurred  where  very  rich  placer-diggings  have  been  found  in  gulches, 
but  the  rocks  which  appear  to  have  given  origin  to  the  float-gold,  yielded 
no  rich  lodes.  This  may  be  accounted  for  on  the  ground  that  the  uj)per 
l)ortions  of  the  lodes  contained  all  the  rich  ore,  and  that  in  the  process 
of  erosion  this  ore  was  all  ground  up,  while  the  remainder  that  is  left 
may  have  been  lean,  or  even  contained  no  gold  at  all.  The  principal  lodes 
that  have  been  worked  in  the  vicinity  of  Virginia  City  are  near  the  head 
of  Alder  Gulch,  and  are  as  yet  only  moderately  successful.  Up  to  this 
date  Montana  seems  to  have  gained  its  high  state  of  prosperity  princi- 
j)ally  from  the  richness  of  its  gulch  deposits.  It  is  estimated  that 
$30,000,000  of  gold  have  been  taken  out  of  Alder  Gulch  since  its  discov- 
ery in  1863.  The  lodes  all  have  a  general  strike  northeast  and  southwest. 
Perhaps  they  would  be  termed  north  and  south  lodes.  I  Avas  informed 
that  all  the  lodes  in  the  Territory  have  that  general  trend.  The  gangue 
material  is  very  similar  to  that  in  the  gold  lodes  about  Central  City, 
Colorado — quartz  and  feldspar  of  various  textures.  Sometimes  the 
gangue  is  very  hard  and  compact ;  again  it  is  rotten  quartz,  as  it  is 
termed  by  the  miners.  The  country  rock  is  mostly  gneiss,  also  exhibit- 
ing various  degrees  of  hardness  as  to  texture.  The  dip  of  the  lode 
matter  is  nearly  west  50^  to  60°.  The  trend  of  the  metamorphic  strata 
is  about  northwest  and  southeast.  The  Alder  Gulch  closes  up  in  a  ridge 
of  limestone,  which  forms  a  most  remarkable  wall,  effectually  shutting 
off  all  communication  with  the  Madison  Valley  to  the  east  of  it.  The 
altitude  of  Virginia  City  is  5,713  feet,  while  the  head  of  the  gulch  is 
about  500  feet  higher,  and  around  it  a  wall  of  limestone  rises  up 
with  its  outcropping  edges  toward  the  gulch  800  to  1,000  feet,  so  that 
this  ridge  is  at  least  from  7,000  to  7,500  feet  above  the  sea.  From  its 
summit  we  can  see  at  a  glance,  a  broad  extent  of  country.  The  Madison 
Valley,  with  all  its  beauty  of  outline,  is  visible  for  thirty  or  forty  miles, 
while  to  the  west  and  northwest  the  eye  passes  down  the  different 
gulches  and  branches  of  the  Jefferson  Fork  into  that  broad  valley,  over 
the  side  ranges  which  intervene.  We  know  that  these  limestones  are 
of  Carboniferous  age,  and  are  a  portion  of  the  series  that  has  extended 
persistently  all  along  our  route  from  Salt  Lake  Valley,  and  perhaps 
even  the  same  great  ocean  bottom  that  extended,  during  that  age, 
over  the  area  from  the  Mississippi  Valley  to  the  Pacific  Ocean,  and  we 
know  not  how  much  farther.  As  a  general  rule,  these  limestones  always 
contain  a  few  fossils,  enough  to  guide  us  in  our  wandering  examinations, 
but  the  rocks  are  usually  so  compact,  and  sometimes  so  much  changed, 


that  few  can  be  obtained  in  a  condition  such  as  to  be  identified  with 
certainty.  The  species  are  not  numerous,  as  will  be  seen  by  the  list  in 
a  subsequent  portion  of  this  report.  At  the  head  of  Alder  Gulch,  a 
Syrmgo^ora,  Bhynconella,  and  Produotus  were  found,  and  quite  a  num- 
ber of  other  species,  which  will  require  further  study.  The  limestones 
pass  down  into  very  hard  cherty  quartzites,  and  then  rest  un,conformably 
on  the  metamorphic  rocks.  The  strike  of  these  limestones  is  about 
north  and  south,  bearing  i^erhaps  a  little  west  of  north  and  east  of 
south.  As  we  have  previously  stated,  the  principal  basis  rocks  in  the 
vicinity  of  this  gulch  are  gneissic,  of  varied  composition  and  texture, 
with  a  higii  ridge  of  limestone  at  the  head  of  the  gulch,  forming  a  sort  of 
wall,  with  the  outcroppings  or  basset  edges  of  the  strata  i)ointing  west 
of  north,  and  formerly  extending  in  a  horizontal  i^osition  all  over  the 
surface.  Eeturning  to  Virginia  City,  on  the  high  divide,  on  the  east  side 
of  Alder  Gulch,  about  half-way  between  the  head  of  the  gulch  and  Yir- 
ginia  City,  there  are  i^atches  of  limestone,  underlaid  with  cherty  quartz- 
ites. These  isolated  masses  are  at  different  elevations,  sometimes  upon 
the  summits  of  the  highest  ridges  or  down  in  the  side  gulches,  showing 
that  a  greater  or  less  thickness  of  the  underlying  granitoid  rocks  have  been 
worn  away.  They  also  remain  as  remnants  of  the  great  horizontal  mass, 
2,000  to  4,000  feet  in  thickness,  that  once  extended  across  the  entire  area. 
The  greater  portion  of  the  surface  of  the  high  divides,  however,  are 
covered  with  basaltic  rocks.  They  cap  the  hills,  forming  sort  of  plateaus 
or  benches,  and  along  the  sides  of  the  gulch,  show  steep  sides  one 
hundred  feet  or  more  in  height,  with  the  appearance  of  stratified  layers 
in  a  horizontal  position.  As  I  have  frequently  stated,  the  effusion  of  the 
basalt  is  a  modern  event,  probably  occurring,  for  the  most  part,  near 
the  commencement  of  our  present  period,  after  the  entire  surface 
reached  nearly,  or  quite,  the  present  elevation.  Hence  we  find  points  of 
eff'usiou  in  numerous  localities.  The  igneous  lavas  flowed  out  in  layers, 
and  inasmuch  as  a  considerable  amount  of  erosion  of  the  surface  has 
taken  place  since,  the  sides  of  some  of  these  basaltic  accumulations  have 
been  worn  down  so  as  to  show  with  clearness  the  edges  of  the  different 
sheets  of  basalt  as  it  cooled.  From  a  high  elevation,  one  may  see  in 
every  direction  numbers  of  these  points  of  effusion.  The  streams  which 
wear  out  the  gulches  pass  through  the  basalt,  deep  into  the  granitoid 
rocks.  Scattered  over  the  surface  also  are  patches  of  the  Pliocene 
marls  and  sandstones  underneath  the  basalts,  as  heretofore.  In  the 
mining  districts  around  Virginia  City,  we  have  a  thick  series  of  stratified 
granitoid  rocks  at  the  base,  in  which  the  precious  metals  were  originally 
located ;  upon  them  rest  the  quartzites  and  limestones  of  Carboniferous 
age,  and  filling  up  some  of  the  inequalities  of  the  surface  are  the  modern 
Tertiary  beds;  and  covering  all,  over  restricted  and  isolated  areas,  are 
beds  of  basalt.  The  force  of  erosion  which  operated  on  all  these  rocks  to 
accumulate  the  vast  quantities  of  sand,  gravel,  and  bowlders  in  the  gulches 
must  have  been  very  great.  Mingled  with  the  superficial  deposits  are 
fragments  of  all  the  varieties  of  rock  formations  iu  the  vicinity.  Although 
more  or  less  rounded  by  attrition,  in  the  great  thickness  of  local-drift 
may  be  found  all  the  varieties  of  the  granitoid  and  other  rocks  that  are 
sufficiently  comjjact  to  resist  the  atmospheric  agencies — quartzites,  lime- 
stones, with  fossils,  masses  of  basalt,  &c.,  &c.,  &c.  Most  of  these  rocks 
can  be  traced  to  their  parent  beds  in  the  vicinity ;  a  few  may  seem  to 
have  strayed  from  other  districts,  but  the  strata  to  which  they  originally 
belonged  may  have  occupied  a  restricted  area,  or  had  a  local  existence, 
and  thus,  in  the  erosion  of  the  surface,  been  entirely  worn  away,  or  may 
be  concealed  by  Tertiary  or  superficial  deposits.    In  the  Alder  Gulcia 


tlie  miners  found  in  the  bed  rock  numerous  "  pot  holes,"  with  large 
rounded  masses,  six  to  twelve  inches  in  diameter,  in  the  cavities.  Some 
of  these  spherical  masses  were  basalt  and  others  composed  of  a  sort  of 
basaltic  sandstone. 

Eemains  of  a  species  of  elephant,  probably  UlepJias  primigenius, 
were  found  in  the  auriferous  gravel,  twenty-five  feet  below  the  sur- 
face. A  large  tusk,  with  a  number  of  teeth,  ribs,  and  fragments 
of  bones,  was  found.  I  am  indebted  to  Judge  Lovell  for  the  gift  of  a 
fine  collection  of  these  remains,  which  are  now  safely  secured  in  the 
museum  of  the  Smithsonian  Institution.  The  tusk  is  especially  remark- 
able, and  was  preserved  with  great  difficulty.  These  fossils  have  been 
found  in  other  portions  of  Montana,  in  the  gravel,  especially  in  the  Last 
Chance  Gulch,  near  Helena,  where  a  large  quantity  of  these  valuable 
fossils  were  discovered. 

One  tooth  is  said  to  have  had  a  portion  of  the  jaw-bone  attached,  and 
to  have  weighed  twelve  pounds.  The  bones,  as  well  as  the  teeth,  seem 
to  have  been  partially  worn  as  if  they  had  been  drifted  about  by  the 
waters  to  some  extent,  and  I  think  they  were  washed  from  the  latest 
of  the  modern  Pliocene  deposits,  which  are  abundant  all  over  Montana. 

From  Virginia  City  we  traveled  up  a  deep  ravine  to  the  divide  that 
overlooks  Madison  Yalley.  The  highest  point  over  which  the  road 
passes  was  found  to  be  6,857  feet.  None  of  the  mountains  on  this  divide 
were  more  than  800  to  1,200  feet  above  this  altitude.  On  the  east  side 
of  Madison  Yalley,  there  is  a  fine  lofty  range  of  mountains,  the  summits 
composed  of  limestones,  inclining  west,  while  at  the  base,  and  extending 
high  up  the  sides,  are  grassy  slopes,  which  give  to  the  valley  an 
attractive  appearance  to  the  eye.  Along  the  Madison  Eiver,  in  this 
X)ortion,  are  the  first  series  of  terraces  yet  observed.  On  the  west 
side  are  three  of  these  terraces  or  steps ;  four,  if  the  broad  bottom  is 
counted.  The  first  terrace  is  25  feet  above  the  river,  with  an  average 
width  of  half  a  mile ;  second  terrace,  average  width  one  mile,  100  feet 
above  the  first;  third  terrace  50  feet  above  the  second ;  and  the  fourth 
200  feet  above  the  bed  of  the  river.  These  terraces  are  much  more  like 
table-lands  on  the  east  side  than  on  the  west.  On  the  west  side  of  the 
Madison,  on  the  divide,  the  limestones  extend  over  from  the  head  of 
Alder  Gulch  across  the  Madison  to  the  eastward.  The  mountains 
between  the  Stinking  Water  and  the  Madison  Valley  are  not  high,  but 
extend  about  northward  to  the  Jeiferson  in  the  form  of  a  ridge,  com- 
posed almost  entirely  of  granitoid  rocks,  with  outbursts  of  basalt,  and 
here  and  there  patches  of 
Pliocene  deposits.  The 
dividing  ridge  between  the 
Jefferson  and  the  Madison 
Elvers  varies  from  twenty 
to  thirty  miles  in  width. 
Outcroppings  of  massive 
gneiss  project  up  here  and 
there  over  the  entire  ex- 
tent, giving  to  the  surface 
a  rugged  but  picturesque 
appearance,  (Fig.  8.)  The 
limestones  and  quartzites 
are  nearly  or  quite  all  strip- 

peu  on,  anu  tne  more  yield.-    gneissic  strata  weathered  out  between  madison  river 
ing  portions  of  the  granite  ^^^  gallatin,  on  elk  creek. 

rocks  have  worn  down,  and  the  surface  smoothed  and  grassed  over,  so 


tliat  tliere  is  miicli  excellent  grass  land  among  tlie  granite  ridges.  The 
patches  of  Pliocene  marl  here  and  there  aid  in  smoothing  the  rougher 
portions  of  the  surface.  That  portion  of  Madison  Valley  immediately 
west  of  Virginia  City  is  about  seventy-five  miles  from  north  to  south, 
and  ten  miles  from  east  to  west,  closing  up  at  the  south  end  and  forming 
a  fine  canon  through  gneissic  granites  at  the  north  end.  These  granites 
are  mostly  feldspathic,  the  feldspar  predominating,  and  in  most  in- 
stances composed  only  of  feldspar  and  quartz,  with  iron  diffused  through 
the  mass.  This  valley,  at  one  time  in  the  past,  formed  the  bed  of  one  of 
the  great  chain  of  fresh  water  lakes,  as  is  shown  by  the  lake  deposits 
which  underlie  the  upper  terraces,  and  jut  up  against  the  mountains  on 
either  side.   This  deposit  is  also  covered  in  some  places  with  a  bed  basalt. 



Fort  Ellis  is  located  on  the  east  bank  of  Mill  Creek,  one  of  the  sources 
of  the  East  Fork  of  the  Gallatin,  and  from  its  position,  overlooks  one  ot 
the  most  beautiful  valleys  in  Montana.  It  is  surrounded  on  the  east 
and  north  sides  by  ranges  of  the  hills  and  mountains  which  form  the 
divide  between  the  waters  of  the  Yellowstone  and  Missouri  Eivers. 
After  our  long  journey  across  the  dry  plains  from  Salt  Lake  Valley,  we 
found  this  point  a  most  agreeable  resting-place.  Every  courtesy  we 
could  desire  was  extended  to  us  by  the  officers.  Captain  J.  0.  Bail,  at 
that  time  in  command,  during  the  temporary  absence  of  Colonel  Baker, 
afforded  us  every  facility  to  aid  us  in  our  preparations  for  our  explora- 
tions up  the  Yellowstone,  and  his  suggestions,  from  long  experience  in 
western  campaigns,  were  of  the  highest  value  to  us  throughout  the  trip. 
Indeed,  the  favors  that  we  received  at  this  post,  both  going  to  and 
returning  from  our  Yellowstone  exploration,  were  indispensable  to  our 
complete  success.  Fort  Ellis,  although  considered  one  of  the  extreme 
frontier  posts,  and  supposed  to  be  located  among  hostile  tribes  of  In- 
dians, really  commands  the  valleys  of  the  Yellowstone  and  the  three 
forks  of  the  Missouri,  the  finest  and  most  productive  portion  of  Mon- 
tana. It  is  a  very  i)leasant  station,  surrounded  with  beautiful  scenery, 
with  a  climate  that  can  hardly  be  surpassed  in  any  country.  Streams 
of  pure  water  flow  down  the  mountain  sides,  cutting  their  channels 
through  the  i)lains  everywhere.  The  vegetation  is  most  abundant. 
Bozeman  is  a  pretty  town,  with  about  fivehundred  inhabitants,  situated 
three  miles  below,  surrounded  on  every  side  with  well-cultivated  and 
productive  farms.  It  is  most  probable  that  within  a  short  period  the 
Northern  Pacific  Railroad  will  pass  down  this  valley,  and  then  its  beauty 
and  resources  will  become  apparent. 

The  drainage  of  the  Gallatin  is  composed  of  a  large  number  of  little 
streams  that  rise  in  the  great  divide  for  a  distance  of  eighty  to  one 
hundred  miles,  and  each  of  these  little  streams  gashes  out  a  deep 
gorge  or  canon  in  the  mountain  sides.  The  geology  is  thus  rendered 
comparatively  simple  in  general  terms,  and  yet  in  its  details  it  is 
remarkably  complicated.  Two  forces  seemed  to  have  operated  here 
to  give  the  present  configuration  to  the  surface,  and  whether  they 
may  have  acted  synchronously  or  at  different  periods,  or  both,  is  not 


very  clear.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  the  earlier  force  operated  to 
elevate  the  long  continuous  ranges  of  mountains,  the  nucleus  of  which 
is  the  granitoid  rocks,  with  the  unchanged  sedimentary  beds  upon  the 
sides  and  summits  inclining  at  various  angles.  There  was  originally  a 
general  trend  to  these  mountain  ranges  that  might  have  been  called  spe- 
cific, perhaps,  and  in  the  aggregate  it  is  quite  clear  at  the  present  time, 
and  is  a  little  west  of  north.  But  when  we  come  to  study  the  minor 
ridges,  the  unchanged  rocks  seem  to  incline  in  every  direction  and  at 
all  angles  from  1°  to  90°,  and  even  sometimes  past  a  vertical.  Another 
force,  which  has  greatly  influenced  the  form  of  the  surface,  and  one 
which,  whether  it  operated  synchronously  or  not,  certainly  acted  with 
full  power  at  a  subsequent  period,  concealing  the  metamorphic  rocks  and 
the  older  sedimentary  strata  over  large  areas,  and  building  np  most  of 
the  loftiest  peaks.  In  the  previous  pages  of  this  report,  I  have  constantly 
alluded  to  the  exhibitions  of  the  outflow  of  igneous  matter  at  almost 
every  point  of  our  journey  ;  but  about  the  head-waters  of  the  Missouri 
and  Yellowstone,  I  have  estimated  that  at  least  three-fourths  of  the  area 
is  covered  with  igneous  rocks.  Taking  the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone 
from  its  sources  in  the  great  water-shed  to  the  mouth  of  Shield's  River, 
an  area  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  from  north  to  south,  and  fifty  from 
east  to  west,  we  find  the  evidences  of  Volcanic  action  upon  a  tremendous 
scale,  and  igneous  rocks  cover  almost  the  entire  area.  Wherever  the 
metamorphic  and  sedimentary  rocks  are  exposed  in  the  vicinity  of  these 
extensive  outflows  of  igneous  material,  their  history  becomes  much 
complicated  and  the  difficulties  encountered  by  the  geologist  are  greatly 
increased.  The  valley  of  the  Gallatin,  like  the  valleys  of  all  the  streams 
in  Montana,  is  undoubtedly^  one  of  erosion  originally,  and  was  also  the 
bed  of  a  lake.  This  lake  basin  extended  down  to  the  j  unction  of  th  e  Three 
Forks  northward,  and  the  modern  deposits  are  found  all  along  the  base 
of  the  mountains  on  either  side  of  the  valley  up  to  the  very  sources  of  the 
river,  sometimes  rising  quite  high  on  their  sides.  So  great  has  been  the 
removal  of  sediment  during  and  since  the  recession  of  the  waters  of  the 
lake,  that  it  is  not  always  easy  to  determine  the  entire  thickness  of  the 
original  dex)osit.  Eemnants  are  left,  however,  at  different  points,  some- 
times in  the  higher  ranges  of  foot-hills,  or  in  patches  among  the  meta- 
morphic rocks  at  considerable  elevation  on  the  divides  between  the 
Gallatin,  Madison,  and  Jefferson  Forks.  Areas  of  greater  or  less  extent 
occur  600  to  800  feet  above  the  channels  of  the  rivers,  showing  that  the 
waters  must  have  been  so  high  that  only  the  more  elevated  summits  were 
above  the  surface.  Opposite  Fort  Ellis  are  some  high  hills  600  to  800 
feet  above  the  valley  below,  composed  of  the  well-known  Pliocene  marls, 
sands,  sandstones,  and  pudding-stones,  horizontal  for  the  most  part,  or 
inclining  at  small  angles.  Among  these  beds  are  outflows  of  basalt  in  a 
number  of  localities,  but  the  disturbance  of  this  group  has  been  slight. 
In  most  cases  these  deposits  jut  up  against  the  sides  of  the  mountains, 
and  when  occurring  in  contact  with  the  older  rocks  do  not  conform. 
The  group  of  hills  opposite  Fort  Ellis  extend  down  nearly  to  Flathead 
Pass,  and,  having  escaped  erosion  and  removal  for  the  most  part,  are  left 
as  some  proof  of  the  original  thickness  of  the  lake  deposit.  Upon  the 
tops  of  the  hills  there  is  a  considerable  thickness  of  local  drift,  and  scat- 
tered thickly  over  the  surface  are  rounded  bowlders  in  great  numbers 
and  variety. 

To  study  the  older  rocks  to  advantage,  we  must  extend  our  examina- 
tions to  the  numerous  gorges,  or  canons,  in  the  mountains,  which,  cutting 
through  the  upheaved  ridges  at  right  angles,  reveal  more  or  less  clearly 
the  order  of  the  superposition  of  the  strata.    In  Flathead  Pass,  Bridger 


and  Bozeman  Passes,  the  limestones  are  remarkably  well  shown,  in  some 
instances  inclining  80°  with  the  upper  edges  of  the  strata  a  line  of 
rugged  columns.  The  more  yielding  beds  have  been  removed  from  the 
limestones,  leaving  them  on  either  side  of  the  caiion  like  walls,  while 
atmospheric  agencies  have  worn  out  the  upturned  edges  into  the  most 
picturesque,  jagged  forms.  The  caiion  about  two  miles  above  Fort  Ellis, 
carved  out  by  Mill  Creek,  forms  an  interesting  subject  of  study.  The 
entire  range  is  a  true  anticlinal,  trending  northwest  and  southeast,  with 
the  more  abrupt  side  northeast.  This  side  has  also  been  subjected  to 
much  erosion,  so  that  the  more  modern  beds  are  seldom  visible,  the  greater 
portion  now  remaining,  belonging  to  the  metamorphic  series,  or  to  the 
Carboniferous  age.  But  on  the  east  side,  covering  the  hills,  and  crop- 
ping out  deep  down  in  the  valleys,  is  a  vast  thickness  of  steel-gray  or 
somber-brown  sandstones*  The  composition  and  texture  of  these  rocks 
are  quite  varied.  There  are  alternately  hard  and  soft  layers,  that  is,  clay 
and  sandstones.  The  clays  are  quite  uniform  in  their  character,  and  are 
so  thick  in  the  aggregate  as  to  give  a  rounded,  smooth  outline  to  the  hills, 
and  by  weathering,  to  conceal  the  rocky  strata  beneath.  East  of  Bridg- 
er's  Peak,  and  on  the  divide,  high  up  in  Bozeman  and  Bridger  Passes, 
are  a  large  number  of  exi)osures,  sufficient  to  show  that  there  are  here 
about  1,200  to  1,500  feet  of  strata  belonging  to  the  Coal  Series.  Whether 
this  group  belongs  to  the  Upper  Cretaceous  or  Lower  Tertiary,  or  both, 
I  will  not  delay  at  this  time  to  discuss,  l^o  animal  fossils  were  found,  but 
a  fine  collection  of  well-preserved  vegetable  remains  were  obtained,  and 
are  now  in  process  of  description  by  Mr.  Lesquereux,  The  composition 
of  these  rocks  is  mostly  sand  of  various  degrees  of  fineness,  some  argil- 
laceous and  calcareous  sandstones.  Most  of  the  sandstones  contain  a 
small  per  cent,  of  lime.  Near  the  head  of  Spring  Canon,  about  three 
miles  east  of  Fort  Ellis,  a  coal-bed  crops  out  near  the  bed  of  the  creek, 
from  which  several  tons  of  excellent  coal  have  been  taken.  The  opening 
has  been  made  to  the  depth  of  180  feet.  There  are  beds  of  clay  on  either 
side  of  the  coal-seam,  as  usual.  The  strata  are  nearly  vertical,  dipping 
north  80°.  Great  quantities  of  impressions  of  deciduous  leaves  are  found 
in  the  rocks  along  the  borders  of  the  streams,  and  on  the  hills."  These 
fossils  seem  to  be  confined  to  no  particular  beds,  but  to  occur  in  different 
layers  of  rocks,  adapted  to  preserve  them,  above  and  below  the  coal  and 
extending  through  the  series  of  strata.  A  large  number  of  specimens 
of  plants  are  described  by  Mr.  Lesquereux  in  a  valuable  report  in  an- 
other portion  of  this  volume. 

We  will  now  return  to  the  west  side  of  the  range,  and  pass  up  the 
canon  to  the  eastward.  The  stream  which  has  cut  its  way  through 
this  high  ridge  is  a  fine  specimen  of  a  mountain  torrent;  the  water 
is  pure  and  full  of  trout.  As  we  approach  the  base  of  the  hills  from  the 
level  terrace  on  which  Fort  Ellis  is  located,  the  gorge  appears  so  nar- 
row as  to  be  impassable;  but  on  entering  it,  we  find  ample  room  for  a 
bridle-path,  and  we  make  our  ascent  without  difficulty.  As  thia  is  the 
canon  which  is  regarded  as  most  available  for  the  passage  of  the  Northern 
Pacific  Eailroad,  it  is  invested  with  no  small  degree  of  interest.  If  the 
road  ascends  the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  it  will  cross  the  divide 
just  above  the  mouth  of  Shield's  Eiver,  and  ascend  the  valley  of  a  little 
stream  to  the  westward,  which  rises  within  a  few  yards  of  the  source  of 
tlie  one  that  flows  through  the  caiion ;  so  that  the  greater  portion  of  the 
rock  excavations  has  already  been  performed  by  nature,  with  these 
two  beautiful  streams  as  her  agents.  This  lets  the  road  into  the 
Gallatin  Yalley,  where  it  can  go  up  to  the  junction  of  the  Three  Forks; 
thence,  up  the  Jefferson  Fork,  through  the  finest  portion  of  Montana, 


with,  scarcely  an  impetliment.  But  this  subject  will  be  treated  more  in 
detail  in  subsequent  portions  of  this  report.  We  may,  before  describ- 
ing the  details  of  the  geology  of  this  district,  enumerate  the  formations 
we  may  expect  to  meet  with.  We  have  mentioned  the  existence  of  a 
large  thickness  of  the  lake  deposits,  and,  frequently  covering  them, 
beds  of  basalt ;  but  still  the  latter,  although  a  modern  outflow,  is  not  con- 
fined to  the  vicinity  of  these  Pliocene  marls,  but  may  burst  up  through 
any  of  the  rocks  and  overflow  their  surfaces.  We  are  liable  to  meet  with 
them  anywhere,  and  in  most  cases  they  ijredominate  over  all  others. 
The  next  group  of  strata  older,  are  the  coal-beds,  which  are  exposed  in 
a  break  in  the  range,  and  aid  in  concealing  the  older  rocks  for  an  inter- 
val of  four  or  five  miles,  between  the  Canon  and  the  Gallatin  Mountains. 
Then  come  a  few  obscure  exposures,  which  are,  no  doubt,  of  Cretaceous 
age,  though  no  fossils  were  observed ;  below  them  are  well-defined  Juras- 
sic strata,  and  below  these  the  quartzites  and  limestones  of  Carboniferous 
age.  None  older  than  the.  latter  are  exposed  in  this  gorge.  A  few  miles 
farther  to  the  southward,  as  well  as  to  the  northward,  older  rocks  are 
brought  to  the  surface,  and  we  find  that  the  core  of  the  mountains  is 
composed  of  granitoid  rocks. 

Now,  if  we  examine  this  range  of  mountains  a  little  more  in  detail, 
we  shall  find,  as  we  enter  the  canon,  a  series  of  beds  which  are  probably 
Cretaceous,  but  dipping  at  various  angles.  In  some  portions  of  the 
range,  fragments  of  the  beds  are  lifted  up  to  the  very  summit,  so  far  as 
to  form  a  broken  arch.  This  arch  is  well  shown  on  the  north  side  of  the 
canon,  while  on  the  south  side  the  two  sides  of  the  anticlinal  terminate 
in  high  jagged  points  of  limestone,  1,000  to  1,200  feet  above  the  plain 
below.  In  the  supposed  Cretaceous  beds  no  well-defined  fossils  could 
be  found,  but  in  some  beds  of  arenaceous  limestone,  were  bivalves,  which 
I  have  no  doubt  are  of  that  age.  Below  this  group  there  is  a  series  of 
alternate  layers  of  arenaceous  olay,  gray  limestones,  and  sandstones, 
with  layers  2  to  4  feet  thick,  composed  of  an  aggregate  of  broken  shells, 
with  now  and  then  a  fragment  perfect  enough  to  be  identified  so  as  to 
show  their  Jurassic  age.  Below  these  are  some  red  sandstones  and 
clays,  which  might  be  remnants  of  the  Triassic,  and,  as  they  contain  no 
fossils,  any  opinion  about  them  is  conjectural.  I  think,  however,  that 
they  are  all  Jurassic  or  Carboniferous.  We  then  come  to  a  great  thick- 
ness of  Carboniferous  rocks,  first  quartzites,  gradually  passing  into  lime- 
stones. Rocks  of  Carboniferous  age  form  the  great  mass  of  the  minor 
ranges  of  mountains. 

On  the  morning  of  July  12,  a  small  party  of  officers  from  the  fort, 
under  the  guidance  of  Captain  S.  H.  Norton,  made  a  tour  of  exploration 
to  a  little  lake,  embosomed  among  the  mountains,  about  twelve  miles 
distant.  We  were  accompanied  also  by  Dr.  Campbell  and  Lieutenant 
Jerome,  to  all  of  whom  we  were  indebted  for  many  kindnesses  and 
much  information.  Our  course  was  nearly  south  from  the  fort.  After 
passing  over  the  beautiful  grassy  plain  between  the  middle  and  east 
borders  of  the  Gallatin,  we  ascended  the  high  hills  on  the  west  side 
of  the  dividing  range  between  the  waters  of  the  Yellowstone  and 
the  Gallatin.  These  hills  are  so  covered  with  debris  and  a  heavy  growth 
of  vegetation  that  not  even  in  the  ravines  can  the  real  basis  rocks  be 
seen.  On  either  side  of  us,  however,  in  the  very  highest  ridge,  the 
limestones  are  visible,  with  the  reddish  sandstones  and  clays,  so  that 
we  may  infer  that  the  Jurassic  or  Cretaceous  are  concealed  beneath  this 
superficial  drift.  After  winding  among  these  hills,  through  a  garden  of 
most  beautiful  wild-flowers,  we  reached  the  little  lake,  which,  on  account 
of  its  great  beauty,  and  being  partially  hidden,  we  called  Mystic  Lake. 


It  is  really  an  expansion  of  one  of  the  branches  of  the  Gallatin,  about 
one-fourth  of  a  mile  wide  and  three-fourths  of  a  mile  long.  The  scenery 
all  around  it  is  very  attractive,  and  Mr.  Jackson  succeeded  in  securing 
some  most  excellent  photographs.  The  hills,  immediately  surrounding 
the  lake,  and,  indeed,  all  the  lower  hills,  are  made  up  of  sedimentary 
rocks,  and  just  on  the  shore  of  the  lake  is  a  considerable  thickness  of 
grayish-brown  arenaceous  limestone  filled  with  fossils,  as  Camptonectes 
hellestriata,  Pinna,  Modiola,  Myacites,PJiolodomya,  and  others.  A  patient 
search  at  this  locality  would  have  been  rewarded  with  many  more  species, 
but  enough  were  secured  to  fix  the  age  of  the  beds  as  Jurassic  beyond 
a  doubt.  A  group  of  strata  once  fixed  in  the  scale  by  such  an  array  of 
evidence,  forms  a  horizon  which  may  be  extended,  with  certainty,  in 
every  direction  for  a  great  distance,  even  though  the  usual  fossils  may 
not  be  found.  The  stream  that  comes  into  the  lake  passes  through  a 
deep  gorge,  walled  on  either  side  with  Carboniferous  limestones.  But 
to  the  west  and  north,  the  mountains  rise  in  rounded  dome  or  cone-like 
peaks,  1,200  to  1,500  feet,  and  in  a  few  instances  2,000  feet  above  the 
valleys  below.  These  high  mountains  are  composed  of  volcanic  mate- 
rials, a  core,  as  it  were,  of  more  or  less  compact  basalt,  with  volcanic 
breccia  all  around  it.  Huge  masses  of  this  volcanic  breccia  have  fallen 
down  into  the  valley  and  around  the  lake.  High  up  on  the  sides  of  the 
mountains,  in  some  places,  the  igneous  rocks  present  the  appearance  of 
strata,  which  have  suddenly  been  poured  out  in  beds,  and  cooled 
in  separate  layers,  and  these  layers  incline  at  moderate  angles,  as  if 
they  had  been  acted  upon  by  subsequent  action  of  the  volcanic  forces. 
All  the  lower  hills,  which  are  comparatively  sloping  and  underlaid  with 
sedimentary  rocks,  rising  to  the  height  of  200  to  500  feet,  are  covered 
thickly  with  vegetation,  mostly  pines,  but  the  higher  volcanic  ridges 
are  dark,  gloomy,  and  bare,  presenting  the  aspect  of  rugged  desolation. 
But  in  the  little  valleys  and  along  the  margins  of  the  streams  the  vegeta- 
tion is  quite  luxuriant,  and  the  flowers  are  varied  and  abundant,  render- 
ing traveling  among  these  wild  and  apparently  inaccessible  hills  charm- 
ing beyond  description.  The  soil  is,  of  course,  made  up  of  portions  worn 
away  from  all  the  different  kinds  of  rocks  in  the  vicinity,  both  the  igne- 
ous and  sedimentary.  Thus  a  remarkably  rich  soil  is  produced,  which, 
during  the  short  season  of  midsummer,  clothes  these  valleys  with  a 
vegetation  of  bright-green,  and  flowers  of  all  hues.  This  little  lake,  as 
well  as  the  stream  that  flows  into  it,  is  full  of  trout.  The  water  is  very 
clear  and  pure,  always  cool,  fed  as  it  is  by  the  melting  of  the  snows  from 
the  surrounding  mountains. 

Without  entering  into  farther  details  of  the  geology  of  this  range,  I 
might  say  that  there  is  no  regular  inclination  to  the  sedimentary  rocks 
of  those  ranges  that  have  been  so  much  influenced  by  igneous  action. 
We  find  at  one  point  the  Carboniferous  limestones  on  the  east  side  of  a 
deep  ravine,  extending  down  the  sides  of  the  mountain  like  the  steep 
roof  of  a  house,  while  on  the  opposite  side  the  same  rocks  have  been 
lifted  up  a  thousand  feet  or  more,  the  upturned  edges  indicating  by  their 
appearance  that  the  period  of  the  uplift  was  a  modern  event.  It  is  my 
belief  that  the  principal  portion  of  this  volcanic  action  occurred  just 
prior  to  the  present  i)eriod,  when  the  sedimentary  and  granitoid  rocks 
had  been  elevated  somewhat  as  we  find  them  at  present,  and  that  the 
chaos  which  we  everywhere  see  was  produced  by  this  general  effusion 
of  igneous  material,  thus  tossing  the  strata  in  every  direction, 

A  considerable  amount  of  erosion  may  have  occurred  since,  but  most 
of  it  had  already  been  performed.  The  Carboniferous  rocks,  up  to  the 
Tertiary  Coal  Series,  inclusive,  were  in  the  same  fragmentary  condition 
in  which  we  find  them  now. 


On  the  IStli  of  July  we  bade  farewell  to  the  hospitable  officers  of  Fort 
Ellis,  and  with  an  excellent  outfit,  for  which  we  were  greatly  indebted 
to  their  kindness,  started,  with  confidence  and  hope,  toward  the  wonder- 
land of  tbe  Yellowstone  Valley.  We  followed  a  well-traveled  road, 
which  wound  around  among  the  hills,  diverging  by  numerous  branches 
in  almost  every  direction.  After  passing  behind  the  main  range  to  the 
north,  we  turned  our  course  to  the  east,  up  the  valley  of  a  little  branch 
of  Mill  Creek,  and  soon  passed  over  the  divide  into  the  waters  of  the 
Yellowstone.  The  water-shed  and  the  geological  divide  are  by  no  means 
identical.  The  little  stream  cuts  directly  through  the  heart  of  the  anti- 
clinal, and  rises  high  up  in  the  coal  group  eaet  of  the  limestones.  East 
of  the  narrow  belt  of  limestones  the  coal  strata  occupy  the  greater  por- 
tion of  the  interval  to  the  Yellowstone  Eiver.  These  beds  incline  at 
various  angles  east  and  northeast.  A  large  quantity  of  finely  preserved 
impressions  of  leaves  of  deciduous  trees  were  found.  The  texture  of 
the  rocks  was  quite  varied,  and  the  examples  of  oblique  lamina  of 
deposition  were  quite  conspicuous.  The  sandstones  were  usually  quite 
fine  and  close-grained,  but  sometimes  they  passed  into  a  fine  pudding- 
stone.  Interstratified  with  these  rocks  are  layers  of  compact  basalt, 
and  not  unfrequently  on  the  summits  of  the  hills  are  thick  masses  of  it. 
It  will  be  seen  at  once  that  the  dark  brown  or  somber  hue  of  this  great 
group  of  strata  (1,200  to  1,500  feet)  is  not  the  original  color,  but  caused 
by  the  subjection  of  the  strata  to  a  greater  or  less  heat  during  the  period 
of  volcanic  activity.  Wherever  the  igneous  matter  has  come  in  direct 
contact  with  the  sedimentary  rocks  they  have  been  more  or  less  changed. 
Some  of  the  sandstones  have  become  compact  quartzites,  but  the  same 
dark,  gloomy  appearance  pervades  them  all. 

From  the  divide  between  the  Gallatin  and  Yellowstone  Eivers,  the 
view  is  wonderfully  fine  in  every  direction.  On  the  north  side  the 
hills  rise  up  600  to  800  feet.  The  elevation  of  the  divide  over  which 
the  road  passes  is  5,681  feet.  The  principal  range  of  mountains 
on  the  south  side  is  mostly  of  volcanic  origin,  and  rises  800  to  1,200  feet. 
The  belt  of  Carboniferous  limestone  seems  to  have  a  trend  northeast 
and  southwest,  preserving  its  anticlinal  character  to  the  Yellowstone 
Valley,  then,  crossing  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  is  seen  only  on  the  sides 
of  the  Snowy  Eange,  inclining  northwest.  Although  the  general 
character  of  the  geological  structure  of  the  country  lying  between  the 
sources  of  the  Gallatin  and  the  Yellowstone  Eiver  ajjpears  so  simple, 
yet  months  of  earnest  labor  would  be  required  to  work  it  out  in  all  its 
details.  The  distance  is  yot  more  than  thirty  miles.  The  sediment- 
ary beds  are  thrown  into  almost  inextricable  confusion.  I  shall  en- 
deavor to  unravel  it  in  pnvt  as  I  proceed  step  by  step  on  our  journey 
up  the  Yellowstone. 

It  is  probable  that  in  general  terms  the  rocks  of  the  country  be-- 
long  only  to  about  half  a  dozen  groups,  and  yet  these  are  so  multi- 
plied into  a  diversity  of  forms,  and  then  by  subsequent  elevation,  so 
mingled  together,  that  at  the  first  glance  there  seems  only  confusion; 
and  yet,  with  the  exception  of  themore.modern  volcanic  forces,  there  has 
been  a  method  in  their  action.  So  far  as  the  rocks  of  Carboniferous  and 
Jurassic  age  are  concerned,  we  may  rely  with  some  confidence  on  their 
uniformity  of  character  wherever  they  may  occur,  but  all  the  others  are 
modified  more  or  less  even  in  their  mineral  texture  at  different  localities. 
For  example,  on  our  route  from  Fort  Ellis  to  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  a 
distance  of  about  thirty  miles,  we  find  the  summits  of  the  highest  hills 
covered  with  a  greater  or  less  thickness  of  a  local  drift,  and  wherever 
the  rocks  are  shown  they  appear  to  belong  mostly  to  the  Coal  Series, 
4  a  s 


(Eocene.)  Interstratified  with  the  beds  of  this  group,  are  layers  of  basalt 
of  irregular  thickness,  some  of  which  is  so  compact  and  homogene- 
ous in  structure  that  it  must  have  cooled  under  much  pressure, 
and  perhaps  never  reached  the  surface  until  exposed  by  erosion 
or  the  elevarion  of  the  mountain  ranges.  Then  in  the  valleys  of  the 
streams,  some  with  flowing  water,  others  dry,  yet  all  deep  and  apparently 
at  one  time  the  channels  of  large  bodies  of  water,  are  great  quantities 
of  the  local  drift  and  debris,  concealing  the  underlying  basis  rocks  so  as 
to  perplex  the  geologist,  and  yet  an  active  search  will  show  that  along  the 
banks  of  the  stream,  a  fewfeet  in  thickness  of  some  one  of  the  formations 
of  the  district  will  be  exposed.  It  may  be  the  oldest ;  it  may  be  the  latest ; 
we  may  find  an  outcrop  of  massive  granites,  of  stratified  granitoid 
rocks.  Carboniferous  limestones,  or  the  latest  Pliocene  marl  group ;  the 
youngest  rocks  may  cover  the  loftiest  ridges,  and  vice  versa.  The  Plio- 
cene marls  do  not  unfrequently  occur  in  contact  with  the  massive  un- 
stratified  granites  on  the  summit  of  the  mountains,  so  that  we  may  step 
within  a  few  paces  from  the  youngest  rocks  known  in  the  West  to  the 
very  oldest.  The  beautiful,  regular  curves  and  flexures  in  the  strata, 
-which  continue  so  systematically  over  long-extended  areas  in  Pennsyl- 
vania and  along  the  Atlantic  border,  are  wanting  in  the  Eocky  Mount- 
ains- Local  curves  of  remarkable  beauty  occur  in  the  strata,  from 
time  to  time,  as  we  shall  attempt  to  show  by  figures  in  the  final  report. 
Altitude,  therefore,  gives  no  clew  to  the  age  of  rocks.  I  have  also  given 
the  angle  of  inclination  of  the  strata  from  time  to  time  in  my  reports. 
In  regard  to  the  more  eastern  ranges  of  the  Eocky  Mountains,  the  dip 
and  trend  are  terms  possessing  some  force  and  meaning,  but  in  the  vol- 
canic regions  of  the  Yellowstone  and  Missouri  Elvers  such  observations 
seem  to  be  of  little  value.  There  is  no  doubt  that,  when  the  whole 
country  has  been  carefully  mapped  and  the  geology  worked  out  in  detail, 
a  system  will  be  found  in  the  results  of  the  action  of  the  internal  forces 
that  gave  to  the  surface  its  present  form.  So  in  regard  to  the  position 
of  the  strata,  altitude  gives  no  clew ;  the  oldest,  to  the  Cretaceous  inclu- 
sive, in  the  lowest  valley,  on  the  summit  of  the  highest  range,  may  be 
horizontal  or  incline  at  any  angle.  The  Carboniferous  limestones  on  the 
divide  between  Trail  Creek  and  a  little  branch  flowing  into  the 
Yellowstone  to  the  north  are  vertical,  or  nearly  so,  or  have  been  lifted 
up  in  broad  areas  to  the  summit  of  the  divide,  so  as  to  be  nearly  or 
quite  horizontal,  while  all  around  it  bend  down  the  same  limestones, 
like  the  leaves  of  a  table,  at  angles  of  60°  to  80°,  and  in  a  few  in- 
stances inclining  past  a  vertical.  In  the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone, 
these  same  limestones  will  be  found  horizontal,  while  upon  the  sum- 
mits of  the  mountains,  3,000  feet  above  the  valley,  within  a  few  miles, 
they  incline  at  a  very  moderate  angle.  These  facts  seem  to  show  the 
importance  of  having  the  topography  of  the  country  worked  out  with 
great  care  in  connection  with  the  geology,  in  order  that  the  multiplicity 
of  detail  may  be  clearly  expressed. 

From  the  summit  of  the  divide  down  to  the  ravine  of  Trail  Creek,  we 
can  look  to  the  eastward,  into  the  beautiful  valley  of  the  Yellowstone  Eiver. 
On  the  south  side  is  the  high  range  of  mountains,  at  first  composed  of 
sedimentary  rocks,  with  their  jagged  summits  rising  up  1,200  feet 
above  the  valley,  and  after  passing  the  divide,  this  range  flexes  around 
to  the  south,  extends  up  on  the  west  side  of  the  Yellowstone,  forming, 
the  water-shed  between  the  sources  of  the  Gallatin  and  Madison  Forks. 
After  passing  the  head  of  Trail  Creek,  this  range  is  composed  almost 
entirely  of  igneous  rocks,  so  far  as  they  are  revealed  to  the  eye.  There 
is  reason  to  believe,  however,  that  underneath  this  vast  mass  of  basalt 


and  volcanic  breccia,  there  are  sedimentary  rocks,  and  even  the  granit- 
oid group,  for  the  latter  was  well  shown  in  the  second  canon.  I  have  al- 
ready described  the  existence  of  great  thicknesses  of  Carboniferous  and 
Jurassic  strata  on  the  west  side  of  this  range  around  Mystic  Lake.  Upon 
the  east  side,  in  some  of  the  gorges  or  ravines  of  the  Yellowstone  drain 
age,  it  is  quite  possible  that  some  of  the  older  rocks  are  exposed.  The- 
highest  peaks,  many  of  which  are  covered  with  snow  all  summer,  are 
composed  of  volcanic  breccia ;  on  the  north  side  of  Trail  Creek  there  is  a 
range  of  hills,  as  they  may  perhaps  be  called  more  properly.  These 
hills  are  really  a  group  of  broken  ridges  ;  the  anticlinal  belt  seems  to 
diverge,  one  portion  passing  up  along  the  divide  or  water-shed,  between 
the  sources  of  the  Gallatin  and  Yellowstone,  appearing  in  full  force  at 
Cinnabar  Mountain  ;  the  other  following  along  the  north  side  of  Trail 
Creek,  crossing  the  Yellowstone  Eiver  at  the  lower  canons,  and  extend- 
ing oft"  on  the  northeast  slope  of  the  Snow  Mountains,  about  the  sources 
of  Big  Bowlder,  Eosebud,  and  Clark's  Fork  of  the  Yellowstone.  The 
amount  of  erosion  in  the  interval,  between  these  two  portions  of  the 
anticlinal,  has  been  very  great.  Not  that  the  valleys  have  been  en- 
tirely carved  out  of  the  mountains,  for  tbey  were  doubtless,  in  part  at 
least,  and  perhax^s  in  all  cases,  marked  out  in  the  process  of  upheaval. 
The  valley  of  Trail  Creek,  which  is  a  narrow  gorge  at  the  head,  gradu- 
ally expands  out,  near  its  entrance,  to  the  immediate  valley  of  the 
Yellowstone,  a  distance  of  about  twelve  miles,  so  that  it  is  about  two  or 
three  miles  wide.  We  can  now  see,  by  fragments  of  ridges  that  are  re- 
maining, that  portions  of  all  the  formations  known  in  this  portion  of 
the  West,  however  much  they  may  have  been  fractured  by  upheaval, 
once  extended  across  the  broad  interval. 

Should  we  ascend  the  high  pine-covered  ridge  on  the  north  side  of 
Trail  Creek,  we  can  look  over  into  the  next  valley  beyond,  and  along  its 
northern  side,  extending  west  or  northwest  nearly  to  Fort  Ellis,  we  can 
see  the  outcrox)ping  edges  of  the  coal-beds,  inclining  north  and  north- 
east in  wave-like  ridges,  until  they  die  out  about  ten  miles  distant,  from 
the  reverse  effect  of  the  force  which  elevated  the  Crazy  Woman  Moun- 
tains. The  Yellowstone  Eiver  cuts  directly  through  this  ridge,  and 
thus  forms  its  first  canon,  and  the  point  of  exit  from  the  caiiou  is  called 
the  exit  of  the  Yellowstone  from  the  mountains.  The  walls  on  either 
side  are  entirely  of  Carboniferous  rocks.  The  view  from  this  ridge  near 
the  canon,  down  the  Yellowstone  Yalley  to  tbe  Crow  agency,  is  very  in- 
structive. Above  the  canon  the  river  flows  uearlj^  northward,  but  after 
emerging  from  the  canon  it  bends  quickly  around  to  the  northeast  and 
east,  and  enters  a  lower  gorge,  cutting  through  Tertiary  and  Cretaceous 
beds,  about  three  miles  below  the  mouth  of  Shield's  Eiver.  This  valley 
belongs  to  the  old  lake  systeni;  is  oval  in  shape,  expanding  from 
one-fourth  of  a  mile  in  width  at  the  upper  end  to  four  or  five  miles. 
It  is  about  ten  miles  in  length  and  has  an  average  width  of  three  miles. 
On  the  left  side  of  the  Yellowstone,  the  somber-hued  rocks  of  the  Creta- 
ceous and  Eocene  Tertiary  groups  present  their  basset  edges  like  walls, 
and  recede  to  the  northwest  and  north,  in  step-like  ridges,  for  ten  or 
twenty  miles.  The  thickness  of  these  beds  I  could  only  estimate,  and 
I  believe  them  to  be  in  the  aggregate  1,500  to  2,000  feet  in  thickness. 
The  inclination  or  dip  varies  much,  sometimes  25°  to  30°,  then  10° 
to  20°.  Just  below  the  mouth  of  Shield's  Eiver,  on  the  left  side  of 
the  Yellowstone,  there  is  a  nearly  vertical  bluff  of  these  beds,  composed 
of  alternate  layers  of  sandstone  and  arenaceous  clay,  all  with  the  steel- 
gray  hue.  The  rocks  are  all  of  various  textures  and  composition  ;  some 
layers  contain  a  considerable  per  cent,  of  clay,  and  the  harder  beds  vary 


in  texture  from  a  coarse  sandstone  to  a  compact  homogeneous  quartzite. 
There  is  in  all  the  rocks  a  small  per  cent,  of  lime.  The  height  of 
the  hluff-like  wall  is  about  500  feet,  and  on  the  summit  there  is  an  ir- 
regular bed  of  basalt,  which  fractures  into  an  imperfect  columnar  form. 
In  other  localities  layers  of  basalt  are  intercalated  with  the  sedimentary 
beds,  effecting  greater  or  less  changes  in  the  contiguous  rocks.  Again, 
the  basalt  has  flowed  to  the  surface  through  the  underlying  strata,  and 
spread  over  restricted  areas.  This  group  of  rocks  is  remarkably  well 
developed,  and  occupies  nearly  all  the  interval  between  the  belt  or  ridge 
of  limestone  extending  from  near  the  junction  of  the  Three  Forks  south- 
westward  to  the  Yellowstone  Eiver  and  Shield's  Eiver.  From  the 
agency,  this  group  extends  down  the  Yellowstone  as  far  as  the  eye  can 
reach,  so  that  there  is  a  belt  here  of  at  least  fifty  miles  from  north  to  south, 
and  twenty  from  east  to  west,  which  may  be  said  to  be  almost  entirely 
occupied  by  these  beds,  mingled  with  basaltic  rocks  which  have  been 
effused  at  different  periods,  and  have  been  cooled  under  varying  con- 
ditions. The  same  group  of  rocks  appears  on  the  right  side  of  Gar- 
diner's Eiver,  forming  a  bluff  wall  800  to  1,200  feet  high,  with  the  same 
irregular  beds  of  basalt.  Similar  steel-gray  rocks  occur  in  the  Middle 
Park,  containing  leaves  of  deciduous  trees,  with  thick  beds  of  basalt, 
inclining  at  a  high  angle,  in  conformity  with  the  Tertiary  and  Cretaceous 
beds,  I  have  called  these  steel-gray  beds  Cretaceous  and  Tertiary,  and 
yet  I  do  not  positively  know  that  any  portion  belongs  to  the  Tertiary. 
It  is  the  group  of  rocks  that  contains  the  coal  in  this  portion  of  the 
west.  There  are  coal-beds  near  Port  Ellis,  and  indications  of  coal  near 
the  mouth  of  Shield's  Eiver  on  the  Yellowstone.  Leaves  of  deciduous 
trees  of  Tertiary  affinities  are  abundant.  ]S'o  molluscan  fossils  were 
found,  yet  the  character  of  the  rocks  and  their  great  thickness  leads 
me  to  believe  that  they  are  Upper  Cretaceous,  passing  up  without  any 
l>hysical  line  of  separation  into  the  Lower  Tertiary".  I  think,  also,  that 
they  form  a  part  of  the  same  group  which  contains  the  coal  on  the 
Lower  Yellowstone,  below  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Horn.  These  forma- 
tions about  the  sources  of  the  Missouri  Eiver  and  its  branches  need  a 
much  more  careful  and  extended  study  than  I  have  been  able  to  give 
them,  and  I  can  only  look  forward  into  the  future  with  hope,  for  time 
and  opportunity  to  group  them  in  their  proper  position. 

The  ridge  of  limestone  which  crosses  the  Yellowstone  at  the  lower 
caiion  seems,  to  one  looking  from  the  valley  below,  to  rise  abruptly  out 
of  the  i)lains ;  the  ridges,  which  are  made  up  of  the  Jurassic,  Cretaceous, 
and  Tertiary  groups,  incline  at  various  angles  from  the  main  ridge,  and 
seldom  rise  above  the  general  level  more  than  100  or  200  feet,  while,  at 
the  base  of  the  ridge,  the  u^jturned  edges  of  the  Lower  Cretaceous  and 
Jurassic  rocks  extend  in  long  lines  across  the  Yellowstone  as  far  as  the 
eye  can  reach,  but  not  rising  above  the  general  level  of  the  plain  more 
than  50  or  100  feet,  and  sometimes  not  at  all,  but  so  covered  with  debris 
that  they  are  only  exposed  in  the  channel  of  the  Yellowstone.  But  the 
beds  of  limestone  and  quartzite  of  the  Carboniferous  group  rise  up  800 
to  1,200  feet  above  the  valley  below,  and  though  the  inclination  in  the 
caiion  is  only  about  15°  to  30",  yet  the  outer  beds  dip  60°  to  80°;  this 
difference  is  not  due  to  any  want  of  conformability  in  the  series,  but 
doubtless  to  the  greater  ease  with  which  the  more  modern  beds  have 
yielded  to  the  erosive  forces,  while  the  Carboniferous  limestones  and 
quartzites  have  most  effectually  resisted  those  agencies.  On  the  Yellow- 
stone the  lower  ridges  extend  far  to  the  northeast,  with  a  somewhat 
irregular  height,  while  the  limestones  are  elevated  so  as  to  form  a  group 
of  lofty  peaks  nearly  as  high  as  the  volcanic  cones  of  the  snowy  range, 


9,000  to  9,500  feet  above  the  sea.  The  northwest  end  of  this  Snowy 
Range  is  formed  of  roof-shaped  peaks,  with  slopes  toward  the  northwest, 
and  summits  running  up  like  a  wedge,  easily  distinguished  by  their 
shape  from  the  more  symmetrical  basaltic  peaks  in  the  same  range. 
Separated  by  an  interval  of  about  twenty-five  miles  to  the  northwest, 
tbere  is  a  beautiful  group  of  conical  p^aks,  9,000  to  10,000  feet  high, 
occupying  an  area  of  not  more  than  fifteen  miles  square,  called  Crazy' 
Woman  Mountains ;  I  did  not  visit  them,  but  I  should  judge  that  they 
might  be  a  local  upheaval  on  the  same  line  of  fracture  with  the  Snow}- 
Eange.  The  two  ranges  are  entirely  separate,  and  each  independent  of . 
any  other,  and  surrounded  by  sedimentary  formations  which  incline  from  ', 
their  sides  at  various  angles.  The  valley,  or  park,  as  it  might  be  called, 
below  the  canon,  is  extremely  beautiful  to  the  eye,  as  all  these  oval 
valleys  are.  The  same  proofs  of  an  old  lake  basin,  which  we  have  before 
described,  are  seen  everywhere,  with  gray  and  cream  marls  and  sands, 
with  great  quantities  of  local  drift,  and  the  step-like  terraces  are  well 
shown ;  there  is  a  uniformity  not  only  in  the  materials,  but  also  in  the 
deposition  of  them,  which  must  show  an  intimate  connection  and  a  com- 
mon origin.  The  canon  is  about  three  miles  long  5  the  river  has  cut  its 
way  through  the  limestone  ridge  nearly  at  right  angles,  forming  a- per- 
fect cross-section,  so  that  the  character  of  the  rocks  down  to  the  gran- 
ites maybe  examined.  On  the  east  side  of  the  Yellowstone,  a  little  above 
the  canon,' the  junction  of  the  Carboniferous  with  the  granitoid  series 
may  be  seen  with  great  clearness.  There  is  no  method  that  I  could  de- 
vise to  arrive  at  the  exact  thickness  of  the  Carboniferous  group,  but, 
with  the  aid  of  the  best  data  I  could  secure,  I  estimated  it  at  1,500  to 
2,000  feet.  Where  rocks  are  thrown  up  in  such  confusion,  and  the  streams 
cut  channels  through  mountains,  forming  caiions  with  vertical  walls 
1,000  to  1,500  feet,  the  grandeur  of  the  operations  will  oftentimes  pro- 
duce such  an  eifect  on  the  mind  as  to  lead  to  an  exaggerated  idea  of 
the  thickness,  but  my  estimates  have  been  checked  so  far  as  possible  by 
the  use  of  the  barometer.  Passing  through  the  canon,  we  came  into  a 
broad,  open  valley  again,  much  larger  but  similar  to  one  already  de- 

We  may  now  return  to  the  valley  of  Trail  Creek.  We  have 
already  stated  that  the  range  of  hills  on  the  left  or  north  side  of  the 
valley  is  the  ridge  of  limestone  through  which  the  Yellowstone  Eiver 
has  carved  out  its  lower  canon ;  the  little  stream,  therefore,  flows  into 
the  Yellowstone  Eiver  just  above  the  canon.  As  we  descend  the  valley 
of  Trail  Creek,  we  meet  with  a  conspicuous  isolated  hill  of  basalt  in  the 
center  of  the  valley,  the  east  side  bordering  immediately  on  the  valley 
of  the  Yellowstone.  A  minute  descrij)tion  of  this  hill  would  apply  to 
nearly  all  the  volcanic  phenomena  of  the  Yellowstone  Valley.  It  will  be 
seen,  therefore,  that  it  is  not  only  important,  but  necessary,  to  repeat 
the  substance  of  many  of  our  descriptions  from  time  to  time,  in  order 
to  do  any  kind  of  justice  to  the  subject.  Basalt  Butte  is  about  800  feet 
in  height  above  the  plains  below,  and  overlooks  the  valley  in  every  di- 
rection ;  it  is  evidently  a  huge  mass  cut  off  by  Trail  Creek  Yalley  from 
the  volcanic  range  on  the  south  side.  The  huite  is  composed  of  volcanic 
conglomerate,  or  breccia ;  that  is,  the  matrix  is  a  steel-gray  volcanic 
sand  and  dust,  slightly  calcareous,  inclosing  fragments  of  igneous  rocks 
of  varied  character  and  texture.  These  inclosed  masses  vary  in  size 
from  an  inch  to  several  feet  in  diameter;  in  most  cases  they  are  angu- 
lar, and  the  aggregate  1  have  called  a  breccia,  but  in  this  htitte,  and  in 
some  other  localities,  the  masses  are  more  or  less  rounded  by  attritioa 
in  v/ater,  showing  that  they  have  been  transported  some  distance  from 


their  origin.  It  is  probable  that  the  volcanic  vent  or  point  of  effusion 
was  from  the  group  of  volcanic  cones,  in  the  high  range,  on  the  east 
side  of  the  Yellowstone,  and  that  the  dust,  ashes,  fragments  of  rocks, 
&c.,  were  thrown  out  into  the  waters  of  the  lake,  and  deposited  and 
cemented  into  the  apparently  stratified  condition  they  now  present.  The 
style  of  weathering  is  much  thp  same  as  in  ordinary  conglomerates,  and 
at  this  locality  several  gorges,  which  have  been  worn  by  water  deep  into 
the  sides  of  the  Jjutte,  show  the  strata  to  incline  5°  to  15°.  By  examin- 
ing the  valleys  of  the  streams  and  ravines  on  either  side  of  the  mountain 
ranges,  we  shall  find  upon  what  rocks,  as  a  basis,  this  volcanic  material 
rests.  On  the  north  side  of  Trail  Creek,  we  have  the  limestone  ridges 
full  in  view,  the  north  side  of  the  ridges  sloping  down  into  the  plain 
below  the  canon,  while,  on  the  south  side,  the  edges  of  the  limestone 
strata  project  up  nearly  vertically,  in  sharp  pinnacles  worn  out  by 
atmospheric  forces.  I  think  that  these  vertical  limestones,  for  about  four 
miles  in  extent  along  this  creek,  afford  an  illustration  of  the  breaking 
down  of  the  strata,  like  a  table-leaf.  Upon  the  plateau-like  ridges 
above  are  remnants  of  the  more  modern  beds,  as  red  clays,  Jurassic,  Cre- 
taceous, and  the  Coal  Series.  The  latter  have  been  lifted  up  by  a  force 
acting  vertically.  In  the  valley  below  are  the  outcropping  edges  of  the 
limestones,  inclining  at  a  small  angle,  but  in  such  a  way  as  to  carry  them 
directly  under  the  Basalt  Butte.  Indeed,  the  evidence  is  quite  clear  that, 
underneath  the  ranges  of  volcanic  mountains  on  the  west  side*of  the  Yel- 
lowstone, exists  a  part  at  least  and  possibly  all  the  unchanged  rocks  known 
in  this  portion  of  the  West.  The  effects  of  erosion  are  such  all  over  this 
country,  that  we  cann  ot  assert  the  existence  of  the  full  series  of  sedimentary 
strata  unless  they  are  visible  to  the  eye.  From  the  summit  of  Basalt 
Butte  the  view  is  very  beautiful  and  instructive.  The  valley  of  the  Yel- 
lowstone, from  the  lower  caiion,  far  up  above  Bottler's  Eanch,  to  the  sec- 
ond caiion,  about  thirty  miles,  has  been  the  bed  of  one  of  the  mountain 
lakes.  On  the  east  side  of  the  Yellowstone  the  eye  takes  in  at  a  glance 
one  of  the  most  symmetrical  and  remarkable  ranges  of  mountains  I  have 
ever  seen  in  the  West.  Several  of  my  party  who  had  visited  Europe  re- 
garded this  range  as  in  no  way  inferior  in  beauty  to  any  in  that  farfamed 
country.  A  series  of  cone-shaped  peaks,  looking  like  gigantic  pyramids, 
are  grouped  along  the  east  side  of  the  valley  for  thirty  or  forty  miles,  with 
their  bald,  dark  summits  covered  with  perpetual  snow,  the  vegetation 
growing  thinner  and  smaller  as  we  ascend  the  almost  vertical  sides,  until, 
long  before  reaching  the  summits,  it  has  entirely  disappeared.  On  all 
sides  deep  gorges  have  been  gashed  out  by  aqueous  forces  cutting  through 
the  very  core  of  the  mountains,  and  forming  those  wonderful  gulches 
which  only  the  hardy  and  daring  miner  has  ventured  to  explore.  This 
range, which  is  called  on  the  map  Snowy  Mountains,  forms  the  great  water- 
shed between  two  portions  of  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  above  and  below 
the  first  canon,  and  gives  origin  to  some  of  the  most  important  branches 
of  that  river.  Large  numbers  of  springs  and  small  streams  flow  down 
from  the  mountains  into  the  Yellowstone  on  the  southwest  side.  Below 
the  first  canon,  but  from  the  northeast  side,  flow  the  Big  Bowlder,  Eose- 
bud,  Clark's  Fork,  and  Pryor's  Fork,  with  their  numerous  branches. 
This  range  continues  on  in  a  more  or  less  broken  condition  to  the  south- 
east, until  it  connects  with  the  Big  Horn  Eange.  From  the  summit  of 
Emigrant  Peak,  one  of  the  highest  of  these  volcanic  cones,  one  great 
mass  of  these  basaltic  peaks  can  be  seen  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach, 
rising  to  the  height  of  10,000  to  11,000  feet  above  the  sea.  Emigrant 
Peak,  the  base  of  which  is  cut  by  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  is  10,629  feet 
above  tide-water,  while  the  valley  plain  near  Bottler's  Eanch,  on  the  op- 


posite  side  of  the  river,  was  found  to  be  5,925  feet.    This  splendid  group 
of  peaks  rises  5,000  feet  and  upward  above  the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone. 
This  grand  range  of  mountains  ends  abruptly  in  the  bend  of  the  Yellow- 
stone, near  the  entrance  of  Shield's  Eiver,  and  the  basset  edges  of  the 
limestone  strata,  high  up  on  the  end  and  inclining  to  the  northwest,  show 
conclusively  that,  prior  to  their  elevation,  they  extended  uninterruptedly 
all  over  this  region.     The  greater  portion  of  the  external  surface  of  this 
range  is  compact  basalt,  but  the  cones  or  central  portions  are  the  gran- 
itoid rocks,  in  which  the  gold  is  found.     Emigrant  Gulch  extends  up 
into  the  mountains  about  eight  miles.     It  is  a  deep,  narrow  gorge,  with 
.  walls  of  a  green  and  dark  brown  quartzite  and  true  gneiss — indeed,  the 
usual  variety  of  metamorphic  rocks  distinctly  stratified,  a  portion  of 
them  with  so  thin  layers  as  to  present  a  slaty  appearance,  and  all  with 
a  somber-brown  hue  from  contact  with  the  igneous  rocks.    A  fine  stream 
of  water  flows  swiftly  down  over  its  rocky  bed  into  the  Yellowstone. 
This  gulch  has  been  quite  celebrated  for  some  years  past  for  its  placer 
mines.     It  is  estinjated  that  somewhere  from  1 100,000  to  $150,000  in 
gold  have  been  taken  out  since  the  discovery,  in  1864.    At  one  time 
there  was  quite  a  settlement,  called  Yellowstone  City,  near  the  entrance 
of  the  gulch,  and  the  walls  and  chimneys  of  the  houses  are  still  standing. 
Probably  two  hundred  or  three  hundred  persons  were  engaged  in 
washing  for  gold;  some  very  fair  lodes  have  been  discovered  near  the 
head  of  the  gulch.    A  large  amount  of  money  was  expended  at  one  time 
in  sinking  a  shaft  and  digging  a  ditch  for  the  purpose  of  reaching  the 
"bed-rock."    There  are   several  other  gulches  on  either  side  of  Emi- 
grant Gulch,  extending  up  fifteen  or  twenty  miles  to  the  second  caiion, 
and  extending  down  to  the  lower  or  first  caiion,  all  of  which   have 
yielded  some  gold.    All  these  gulches  cut  through  the  basalt,  deep  into 
the  granitoid  nucleus,  revealing  the  mineral  character  as  well  as  the 
liistory  of  this  range.     They  are  not  altogether  formed  by  erosion,  but 
were,  of  course,  marked  out  during  the  process  of  upheaval:    and  as 
they  have  been  the  central  lines  of  the  erosive  action  of  water  in  the  far 
past,  so  they  have  been  the  reservoirs  of  the  drainage  from  the  snowy 
summits  around,  up  to  the  present  time.    I  thus  take  the  positiou  that 
during  the  upheaval  of  these  mountain  ranges,  and  perhaps  since  they 
have  reached  their  present  elevation,  the  aqueous  forces  were  vastly 
more  powerful  than  at  present.    The  belt  of  land  between  the  imme- 
diate base  of  the  mountains  and  the  channel  of  the  Yellowstone  varies 
from  three  to  five  miles  in  width,  and  is  covered  thickly  with  rounded 
bowlders,  varying  in  size  from  a  small  pebble  to  several  &et  in  diameter. 
The  line  of  junction  of  the  superficial  deposits  with  the  sides  of  the  moun- 
tain, is  such  that  this  line  of  erosion  is  not  unfrequently  five  hundred 
to  six  hundred  feet  above  the  bed  of  the  Yellowstone,  and  is  almost  as 
well  defined  as  a  lake  terrace.    The  little  streams  that  flow  down  from 
the  mountain  sides  cut  sections  through  this  deposit,  so  that  they  are 
revealed  quite  clearly.     The  upper  portion  is  composed  in  part  of  debris 
from  the  mountains,  but  there  is  all  over  the  valley  a  vast  deposit  of 
what  I  can  call  by  no  better  name  than  local  drift  or  detritus.     In  this  de- 
tritus are  quite  frequently  masses  of  rock  or  bowlders  that  have  evidently 
been  transported  a  considerable  distance  by  a  force  not  now  in  operation 
in  the  vicinity.    This  fact  points  back  to  a  time  when  we  may  suppose 
that  there  were  vast  accumulations  of  snow  and  ice  all  over  the  valleys, 
but  more  especially  on  the  sides  and  summits  of  the  mountains;  and  as 
the  temperature  became  much  warmer,  this  snow  and  ice  melted,  pro- 
ducing rivers  and  torrents  with   sufficient  force,  aided  perhaps,  by. 
the  masses  of  ice,  to  move  these  immense  bowlders  from  place  to  platie,. 


An  important  fact  should  be  continually  borne  in  mind,  that  a  critical 
examination  of  this  detritus  reveals  no  evidence  of  the  existence  of 
rocks  from  any  distant  point  outside  of  the  river  drainage  in  which 
they  are  found ;  in  other  words,  these  superficial  deposits  are  entirely 
made  up  of  the  materials  disintegrated  from  the  rocks  in  the  vicinity. 
The  examination  of  this  detritus  is  also  important  to  determine  the 
formations  that  may  be  sought  for  within  the  limits  of  that  drainage. 
Underlying  all  this  detritus,  in  this  valley,  is  a  greater  or  less  thickness 
of  the  Pliocene  deposits,  and  the  little  streams  on  their  way  to  the  main 
river  show  very  distinctly  where  these  sediments  have  been  cast  by  the 
waters  of  the  lake  against  the  mountain  sides.  Not  unfrequently  some 
of  the  older  unchanged  rocks,  or  even  the  metamorphic  strata,  are  ex- ' 
posed — ^remnants  left  after  the  great  erosion  which  preceded  the  present 
jjeriod.  The  degradation  of  all  kinds  of  rocks  has  been  going  on  continu- 
ally through  all  geological  times,  and  the  most  important  geological 
changes  have  thus  been  wrought.  We  may  date  back,  first,  to  the  time 
when  all  the  formations  known  in  the  West,  from  the  metamorphic  rocks 
to  the  Eocene  coal  group,  inclusive,  extended  uninterruptedly  over  the 
valley  of  the  Yellowstone;  and  now  only  a  few  patches  remain, here 
and  there,  of  from  5,000  to  10,000  feet  of  sedimentary  strata.  Then,  too^^ 
the  mountain  ranges  have  been  pared  down,  we  know  not  how  much, 
since  they  began  their  upward  movements  to  the  present  time.  At  any 
rate,  we  know  that  the  erosion  of  the  mountains  has  been  immense;  that, 
in  many  cases,  entire  ranges  have  been  degraded,  so  that  only  fragments 
remain.  Again,  since  this  valley  was  a  lake-basin,  extensive  degradation 
has  taken  place,  removing  a  considerable  thickness  of  the  Pliocene 
deposits.  It  is  only  when  they  have  been  protected  by  a  sheet  of  basalt, 
that  we  can  form  any  correct  idea  of  their  original  thickness.  We  may 
suppose  this  to  be  a  good  proof,  from  the  fact  that  the  basalts  seem,  in 
almost  all  cases,  to  have  coolecl  under  water  at  some  depth,  probably 
not  great.  At  the  upper  portion  of  this  valley,  just  below  the  second 
canon,  there  are  quite  large  areas  covered  Avith  the  Pliocene  marls  and 
sands,  several  hundred  feet  in  thickness,  overlaid  with  a  chick  floor  of 
basalt.  These  Pliocene  beds  present  the  evidence  of  having  been  de- 
posited in  moderately  quiet  waters,  so  that  we  may  suppose  that  they 
once  extended  all  over  the  valley  with  a  pretty  uniform  thickness.  Since 
these  valleys  have  been  drained,  or,  perhaps,  during  the  process  of 
drainage,  the  surface  has  been  worn  into  its  present  form,  and  the  irre- 
gularities have  been  filled  up  with  a  greater  or  less  thickness  of  local  de- 

It  was  doubtless  during  the  slow  process  of  drainage  that  the  terraces, 
which  constitute  so  conspicuous  a  feature  of  all  these  mountain  valleys, 
were  formed ;  these,  also,  were  carved  out  of  the  Pliocene  deposits.  Some- 
times these  modern  Tertiary  beds  are  quite  conspicuous,  forming  high 
vertical  bluff  walls  along  the  valley.  Again,  they  are  removed,  so  that, 
with  the  exception  of  a  narrow  belt  along  the  immediate  base  of  the 
mountains  on  either  side,  the  valley  has  been  shaped  into  a  low  grass- 
covered  lawn,  but  little  raised  above  the  bed  of  the  stream.  In  many 
instances,  as  along  the  base  of  Emigrant  Peak,  the  line  of  junction  of 
the  valley  deposits  with  the  sides  of  the  mountain  is  indicated  by  the 
vegetation,  and  the  descent,  from  that  line  down  to  the  river  bottom,  is 
very  gentle  and  smooth  as  a  lawn,  and  covered  with  a  thick  growth  of 
grass  and  other  vegetation.  This  complete  and  gentle  transition  from 
mountain  to  valley  forms  one  of  the  most  striking  and  beautiful  features 
in  the  landscape. 

We  will  now  proceed  up  the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone  toward  the 


second  canon,  noting,  step  by  step,  the  principal  features  of  interest. 
We  have  attempted  to  describe  the  lower  caiion,  the  valley  above  as 
far  as  the  mouth  of  Trail  Creek,  and  the  magnificent  range  of  snow- 
mountains,  of  which  Emigrant  Peak  forms  a  part.  From  the  upper  jjor- 
tion  of  the  lower  canon  to  Trail  Creek  is  about  five  miles  ;  and  from  the 
mouth  of  Trail  Creek  to  Bottler's  Eanch,  ten  miles ;  and  from  the  latter 
place  to  the  second  canon,  about  twelve  miles.  We  have  stated  that  this 
valley  was  one  of  the  lake-basins  that  formed  a  series  of  chain-like  links, 
extending  probably  throughout  all  the  great  hydrographic  basins  of  the 
West.  A  little  above  Trail  Creek,  on  the  west  side  of  the  Yellowstone, 
there  is  an  exposure  of  Carboniferous  limestones,  200  to  300  feet  thick, 
occupying  only  a  small  area,  but  enough  to  show  that  the  sedimentary 
.  beds  extend  under  the  vast  mass  of  basalt  and  breccia.  On  the  road 
across  the  broad  upland  bottoms  of  the  Yellowstone,  a  number  of  fine 
streams,  six  to  ten  feet  wide,  which  have  their  origin  in  springs  at  the 
base  of  the  range  of  mountains  on  the  west  side,  flow  across  the  table- 
like bottoms,  almost  on  the  surface,  overflowing  in  many  places, 
so  that  they  form  natural  acequias.  There  is  so  little  channel 
that  they  are  quite  noticeable.  Basaltic  bowlders  of  immense  size 
are  scattered  all  over  the  plain,  and  the  finer  detritus  forms  the  cov- 
ering of  the  entire  surface.  Some  of  these  bowlders  stand  out  in  the 
plain  far  from  any  water  at  the  present  time,  and  are  six  to  ten  feet  in 
diameter.  It  is  possible  that  water  alone  has  been  the  agent  that  has 
moved  them  to  their  present  position,  by  slow  degrees,  at  some  period 
far  back  in  the  past,  but  it  is  also  possible  that  ice  may  have  aided  in 
the  work. 

From  the  mouth  of  Trail  Creek  to  Bottler's  Eanch,  the  modern 
basalt  makes  its  appearance  on  the  west  side  of  the  valley  from  time 
to  time.  In  some  localities  it  is  quite  prominent  and  breaks  off  in  reg- 
ular columns.  It  is  possible  that  this  sheet  or  floor  of  basalt  extended 
all  over  the  valley  at  one  time,  as  the  appearance  of  the  portions  that 
are  now  left  would  seem  to  indicate.  If  so,  the  disintegration  and 
removal  of  the  basalt  must  have  been  very  great.  This  basalt  is  visible 
in  greater  or  less  force  all  the  way  up  to  the  foot  of  the  second  canon, 
and  on  the  east  side  of  the  Yellowstone  there  is  a  bluff  wall,  cut  by  the 
river,  which  shows,  at  the  top  at  least,  three  different  beds  of  basalt, 
indicating  as  many  different  outflows.  Underneath  the  basalt  are  100  to 
150  feet  of  light-gray  marly  sand  and  sandstone,  clearly  belonging  to 
the  modern  lake  deposit.  These  are  the  rocks  which  may  be  said  to 
fofm  the  valley  proper — first,  the  Pliocene,  or  lake  deposits ;  secondly,  the 
broad  sheet  or  floor  of  basalt ;  thirdly,  the  detritus,  or  local  drift.  On 
the  sides  of  the  main  valley,  and  sometimes  intrenching  upon  it,  are  the 
materials  of  the  volcanic  breccia,  which  must  have  been  thrown  out  of 
fissures  and  vents  in  the  mountain  ranges  on  one  side  of  the  valley  or 
the  other,  or  perhaps  both,  into  the  waters  of  the  lake,  and  then  re- 
arranged and  cemented  together.  If  we  delay  a  moment,  and  study  this 
basaltic  breccia  on  the  east  side  of  the  valley  just  back  of  our  camp  at 
Bottler's  Eanch,  we  shall  be  able  to  form  some  conception  of  its  char- 
acter. We  find  here,  that  the  foot-hills  are  entirely  composed  of  it  5  and 
as  the  erosion  has  in  some  instances  cut  some  excellent  sections  in  it,  it 
is-  easily  studied.  The  general  hue  is  the  usual  somber-gray  or  brown 
of  most  igneous  rocks,  but  still  there  are  a  great  variety  of  colors ;  some- 
times there  are  thin  seams  of  milky-white  and  cream  marly  clay,  then 
a  mixture  of  materials  which,  when  disintegrated,  leave  debris  like  the 
ashes  of  an  old  furnace  ;  at  other  places  the  rocks  have  a  dull  brick-red 
color,  as  if  the  volcanic  fires  had  raged  only  yesterday.    The  whole  as- 


pect  IS  modern,  and  one  feels,  as  lie  winds  Ms  way  among-  these  high 
basaltic  hills,  that  he  is  in  a  region  where  the  great  volcanic  forces 
which  have  given  form  to  this  entire  region,  ceased  at  a  period  so  recent, 
that  a  recurrence  of  tbe  same  events  might  be  looked  for  at  any  time. 
Indeed,  earthquake-shocks  have  been  felt  in  the  vicinity  of  Emigrant 
Gulch  several  times  since  the  discovery  of  gold  there  in  1864.  Immense 
masses  of  the  basaltic  breccia  have  fallen  down  from  themountains  among 
the  foot-hills ;  and  in  the  valley  some  of  the  included  masses  are  slightly 
"worn,  as  if  they  had  been  rolled  about  in  the  waters  for  a  time,  but 
most  of  them  are  angular;  some  of  them  are  red,,  like  pumice, 
others  black,  compact,  close  in  texture,  like  obsidian.  There  is,  indeed,  in 
this  breccia  almost  every  possible  variety  of  basalt.  The  cement  is  rather 
firm,  resisting  the  atmosphere  well,  lookiug  much  like  volcanic  ashes. 
Scattered  through  the  bottoms  and  on  the  sides  of  the  hills  are  quite 
abundant  gneiss  bowlders,  some  of  them  of  great  size,  and  most  of  them 
considerably  worn. 

From  Fort  Ellis  to  within  a  mile  of  the  foot  of  the  second  canon 
not  an  exposure  of  the  metamorphic  rocks  was  seen  on  the  right 
or  west  side  of  our  road;  and,  after  leaving  Trail  Creek,  the  igneous 
rocks  arose  2,000  to  2,500  feet  above  the  valley,  and  some  of  the  higher 
peaks  were  at  least  3,000  feet  above  the  plain  As  soon  as  we  reach  the 
foot  of  the  second  canon,  we  find  the  mountains  are  made  up  of  the 
same  granitoid  rocks.  Two  of  the  streams  that  flow  down  from  the 
divide,  that  must  have  their  sources  at  least  ten  or  fifteen  miles  in  the 
heart  of  the  mountains  west  of  the  river,  have  brought  down  in  their 
channels  detached  portions  of  the  granitic  rocks,  showing  that  the  cen- 
tral mass  of  the  range  between  the  second  caiion  and  the  sources  of 
the  west  branch  of  the  Gallatin  is  metamorphic.  The  size,  abundance, 
and  position  of  these  rounded  granite  bowlders  are  such  that  no  forces 
now  in  operation  in  this  region  could  have  moved  them  high  up  on  the 
sides  of  the  valley,  where  no  water  is  found  or  can  reach  at  the  present 
time.  They  cover  a  space  a  mile  in  lengtli  and  one-fourth  of  a  mile  in 
width,  as  thick  as  they  can  lie  on  the  ground. 

I  have  already  referred  to  the  section  of  the  foot-hills  cut  by  the 
Yellowstone  Eiver,  about  a  mile  above  Bottler's  Eanch,  and  that  this 
section  would  seem  to  show  the  thickness  and  character  of  the  original 
lake  deposits.  From  the  water  up  there  is  about  one  hundred  feet  of  a 
light-cream  marly,  indurated  clay,  with"  some  concretions,  from  a  few 
inches  to  two  feet  in  diameter.  Above  this  there  are  40  feet  detritus, 
composed  of  rounded  pebbles,  and  above  this  very  modern  local  drift, 
there  are  30  to  60  feet  of  the  basalt.  This  fact  shows  the  very  modern 
character  of  this  outflow,  as  I  have  endeavored  to  show  in  other  por- 
tions of  this  report.  Just  opposite  this  bluff,  on  the  west  side  of  the 
valley,  there  is  another  feature  which  is  quite  a  conspicuous  one  in  the 
landscape.  There  is  here  a  series  of  terraces,  five  in  nuuiber,  which 
rise,  step  by  step,  with  remarkable  regularity.  The  usual  terrace  sys- 
tem is  undeveloped  in  this  valley  ;  but  in  this  locality  there  is  a  series 
of  regular  steps,  rising  about  200  feet  above  the  channel  of  the  river. 
They  probably  belong  to  the  system  of  terraces  that  was  formed  during 
the  period  of  drainage  of  these  mountain  lakes  ;  but  why  they  should 
be  divided  in  so  marked  a  way  as  at  this  point  I  could  not  explain. 

Before  closing  this  chapter,  I  will  note,  very  briefly,  some  of  the  re- 
sources of  this  valley.  It  is  about  fifteen  miles  long,  and  will  average 
three  miles  in  width  ;  is  well  watered,  soil  fertile,  and  in  every  respect 
one  01  the  most  desirable  portions  of  Montana.  We  may  not  look  for 
any  districts  favorable  for  agriculture  in  the  Yellowstone  Yalley  above 



the  second  canon;  but  this  entire  lake  basin  seems  admirably  adapted 
for  grazing  and  for  the  cultivation  of  the  usual  crops  of  the  country. 
The  cereals  and  the  roots  have  already  been  produced  in  abundance^  es- 
pecially wheat  and  potatoes.  The  mountains  on  either  side  are  covered 
with  snow,  to  a  greater  or  less  extent,  all  the  year,  which  in  melting,  feeds 
the  numerous  little  streams  that  flow  down  the  mountain  sides  in  the 
Yellowstone.  Hundreds  of  springs  flow  out  of  the  terraces.  One  terrace 
near  Bottler's  Eanch  gives  origin  to  fifty  springs  within  a  mile,  and  then, 
all  aggregating  together  in  the  river  bottom,form  a  large  stream.  Thus 
there  is  tlie  greatest  abundance  of  water  for  irrigation,  or  for  any  of  the 
purposes  of  settlement.  The  elevation  of  the  valley  at  this  ranch  is 
4,925  feet,  and  this  may  be  regarded  as  the  average  in  altitude.  But  a 
small  portion  of  it  is  occupied  as  yet,  but  the  time  is  not  far  distant 
when  the  valley  will  be  covered  with  fine  farms  and  the  hills  with  stock. 
It  vill  always  be  a  region  of  interest,  from  the  fact  that  it  is  probably 
the  upper  limit  of  agricultural  effort  in  the  Yellowstone  Valley. 



In  our  last  chapter  we  described  the  beautiful  lake-basin  below  the 
second  caQon.  We  found  that  rocks  of  volcanic  origin  predominated 
over  all  others.  In  this  caiion,  which  is  carved  out  of  a  lofty  range  of 
mountains  by  the  river,  we  see  that  the  core  or  nucleus  is  true  gneissoid 
granite.  Before  reaching  the  caiion  for  a  mile,  the  gneissic  rocks  are 
well  shown  high  up  on  the  mountain  sides  with  a  stratification  so  clear 
and  distinct  as  to  be  a  noticeable  feature.  The  strata  incline  west  10° 
to  15°.  The  ui^per  beds  are  composed  mostly  of  feldspar  and  quartz, 
and  are,  consequently,  compact  and  rather  massive;  but  lower  down 
they  are  a  black,  micaceous  gneiss.  About  midway  up  the  caiiou  the 
walls  on  either  side  rise  up  nearly  vertically,  on  the  east  side  1,500  feet, 
and  on  the  west  side  from  1,000  to  1,200  feet,  the  strata  having  a  general 
dip  of  30°  to  40°  westward.  The  different  shades  of  color,  give  to  the 
sides  of  the  caiion  a  peculiarly  stratified  appearance,  produced  by  alter- 
nate layers  of  micaceous  granite,  feldspar,  and  quartz.    Protruding 

Fig.  g, 

through  the-  layers,  here  and  there 
may  be  seen,  as  indicated  by  the  dark 
hue,  masses  of  trap,  (Fig.  9.)  Scat- 
tered air  over  the  valley,  and  on  the 
sides  of  the  mountain,  are  great  quan- 
tities of  broken  masses  of  granite. 
This  canon  was  undoubtedly  started 
in  a  fissure,  bat  it  is  mostly  one  of 
erosion.  It  is  about  three  miles  long. 
This  is,  of  course,  an  extension  of  the 
range  of  mountains  in  which  Emi- 
grant Gulch  is  located,  and  it  undoubt- 
edly contains  mines  of  gold.  The 
rocks,  with  their  peculiarly  distinct 

and  contorted  strata  as  well  as  texture  gneissic  strata,  with  trap.  . 
remind  one  of  the  gneissic  mountains  in  the  mining  districts  of  Colorado. 
The  river  rushes  with  considerable  force  over  the  loose  masses  of  rock 


that  have  fallen  into  the  channel,  and  presents  a  picturesque  view 
to  the  traveler  struggling  along  over  the  narrow  trail,  high  up  on 
the  mountain  side.  But  wherever  the  water  forms  an  eddy,  so  that 
it  is  even  moderately  quiet,  the  number  of  fine,  large  trout  that  can  be 
taken  out  within  a  limited  period  would  astonish  the  most  experienced 
fisherman.  Above  the  canon  the  rocks  return  at  once  to  their  igneous 
character.  This  is  readily  shown  by  the  difference  in  the  appearance 
of  the  surface  features.  Although  the  granitic  portion  is  higher  and 
more  massive  in  its  general  aspect,  yet  the  surface  is  rounded  and 
much  of  it  covered  with  debris  that  admit  the  growth  of  grass,  while 
the  vplcanic  rocks  give  a  jagged  ruggedness  to  the  outline.  Outflows  of 
dark-brown  basalt,  apparently  of  late  date,  mingled  with  huge  masses 
of  breccia,  can  be  seen  on  either  side  of  the  valley  to  the  summits  of 
the  mountains.  The  foot-hills  on  either  side  are  certainly  composed 
of  breccia  for  several  miles,  which,  decomposing,  gives  to  the  surface 
the  appearance  of  the  remains  of  an  old  furnace.  Perhaps  it  would  be 
better  to  compare  it  to  a  modern  volcanic  district.  The  debris  has  the 
great  variety  of  colors  peculiar  to  the  remains  of  modern  igneous  action. 
The  inclosed  fragments  are  mostly  angular,  or  slightly  worn,  and  vary  in 
size  from  minute  particles  to  masses  two  feet  in  diameter,  though  they 
are  mostly  small.  Some  of  the  rounded  hills  are  quite  red  on  the  sum- 
mits, as  if  covered  with  cinders.  The  nuclei  of  the  mountains  are  granite, 
however,  although  the  basis  rocks  are  mostly  concealed  by  the  outflows 
of  volcanic  material.  On  the  east  side,  the  river  cuts  close  to  the  base 
of  the  mountains,  but  on  the  west  side,  there  is  quite  a  broad  belt,  com- 
pridng  the  foot-hills,  which  are  composed  of  basaltic  conglomerate, 
covered  thickly  with  the  debris  of  the  same.  There  is  here  a  small  lake, 
200  yards  long  and  50  yards  wide,  occupying  a  depression  among  the 
hills.  The  margins  are  covered  with  piles  of  volcanic  debris,  which  give 
it  the  appearance  of  an  old  crater  or  fissure.  The  basaltic  rocks  rest 
upon  the  upturned  edges  of  the  metamorphic  rocks,  the  former  inclining 
in  all  directions,  while  the  latter,  on  the  west  side  of  the  river,  dip  west 
and  northwest  at  all  angles  from  10^  to  a  vertical  side,  while  on  the  east 
side  they  incline  east  and  southeast,  at  an  angle  of  60°.  For  a  distance 
of  two  or  three  miles  the  mountains  on  the  east  side  are  so  worn  off  that 
they  present  a  vertical  face,  which  reveals  the  inner  character  well.  Al- 
ternate beds  of  a  kind  of  somber  indurated  clay,  volcanic  debris,  and  bas- 
alt of  various  colors,  continue  all  the  way  up  for  a  thickness  of  several  hun- 
dred feet.  These  rest  upon  a  reddish  feldspathic  granite.  In  some  places 
the  melted  basalt  was  poured  over  the  surface  of  the  granitic  ro(;ks, 
filling  up  the  irregularities  and  penetrating  the  fissures  so  that  it  gives 
the  sides  of  the  mountains  a  mottled  appearance.  The  volcanic  and 
granitic  rocks  are  mingled  together  in  such  confusion  that  it  would  re- 
pj„    jo_  quire  a  long,  tedious 

study  to  separate  them. 
On  the  west  side  of 
the  Yellowstone  Eiver, 
about  ten  miles  above 
the  second  caiion,  there 
is  an  exhibition  of  up- 
lifted strata.  It  is  some- 
times called  Cinnabar 
Mountain,  from  a 
brick-red  band  of  clay 
CINNABAR  MOUNTAIN.  wWch    cxtcuds    froui 

the  summit  down  the  side,  and  was  supposed  to  be  cinnabar.    A  portion 



of  it,  from  its  peculiarly  rugged  character,  is  called  the  "Devil's  Slide." 
The  lower  part  of  the  mountain  facing  the  river  is  composed  of  light- 

reddish  feldspathicquartzites  plainly  metamorphic,  and  inclining  at  a  high 
angle,  (Fig.  10.)    The  valley  is  here  about  one-fourth  of  a  mile  wide,  and 


has  evidently  been  cut  through  these  quartzites.  The  same  rocks  under- 
lie the  mountains  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  river,  and  resting  unconfor- 
mably  on  the  quartzites  are  at  least  1,000  feet  of  Carboniferous  limestone, 
exceedingly  cherty,  impure,  of  a  yellowish-gray  and  brown  color,  and  so 
massive  that  the  stratification  is  quite  indistinct.  These  limestones  possess 
a  great  variety  of  textures.  Above  them  are  a  series  of  beds,  standing  in 
nearly  a  vertical  position',  alternating  with  clays  which  have  been  worn 
away  by  atmospheric  forces,  so  that  the  harder  layers  project  above  the 
surface  in  jagged  edges.  The  harder  layers  are  mostly  yellowish  cherty 
limestones.  The  band  of  indurated  brick-red  clay  is  50  to  100  feet  thick, 
and  from  its  bright  scarlet  hue  attracts  the  attention  of  travelers  from 
all  points  of  the  compass.  A  bed  of  yellowish-gray  quartzite  forms  one 
of  the  walls  of  the  Devil's  Slide*and  is  probably  near  the  summit  of  the 
Carboniferous  group  in  this  locality.  The  excellent  illustration,  (Fig. 
11,)  taken  on  the  spot  by  Mr.  Elliott,  shows  the  nearly  vertical  wall  of 
quartzite  on  the  right,  the  broad  interval  covered  with  debris,  grass, 
and  a  few  scattered  pines ;  and  on  the  left,  the  huge  wall  or  dike  of  ba- 
salti  The  low  interval  is  composed  of  dark  steel-gray  slate,  extends 
from  the  summit  to  the  base  of  "the  hill,  and  is  about  150  feet  wide.  The 
south  wall  or  dike  is  very -compact  trachyte,  stands  nearly  vertical,  50 
feet  thick,  and  at  some  points  200  feet  high.  It  is  probable  that  this 
igneous  mass  was  thrust  up  between  the  strata,  since  they  were  ele- 
vated to  their  present  position,  and  doubtless  during  the  Pliocene  pe- 
riod. On  either  side  of  the  dike,  the  clays  have  been  changed  into 
the  metamorphic  slates.  Fragments  of  the  slate  are  attached  to  the 
walls  high  up  on  either  side.  This  is  a  remarkable  feature  in  the  geol- 
ogy of  this  region.  Far  to  the  left  or  south  of  the  dike  the  jagged  ver- 
tical edges  of  the  Jurassic  strata  can  be  seen.  The  inclination  of  all 
these  beds  ranges  from  60°  to  80°  southwest.  The  two  walls  of  the 
Devil's  Slide  stand  at  an  angle  of  80°.  The  interval  near  the  sum- 
mit of  the  hill  is  rather  narrow,  but  expands  out  at  the  base  to  dou- 
ble the  width.  Above  this  dike,  in  order  of  superijosition,  though 
now  standing  side  by  side,  is  a  grou]3  of  Jurassic  strata — first,  a  low 
interval  of  shaly,  marly  clay,  ashen  brown;  secondly,  brownish-gray 
arenaceous  limestone,  with  Iragments  of  fossils  that  are  evidently 
Jurassic,  50  feet  thick;  dip,  70°;  thirdly,  purplish  and  reddish  indu- 
rated, slaty  clay,  with  seams  of  sandstone  projecting  but  little  above 
the  surface ;  fourthly,  a  bed  of  trap  6  feet'  thick ;  fifthly,  slaty  clay 
sandstones,  the  upper  part  a  fine  pudding-stone,  standing  nearly  vertical, 
70°  to  80°,  100  feet;  sixthly,  numerous  layers,  which  may  be  aggregated 
as  alternate  beds  of  yellowish-gray  quartzites  and  slaty  clays,  varying 
but  little  in  texture,  the  harder  portions  standing  up  in  more  or  less 
jagged  edges,  with  the  softer  clays  washed  out  from  between  them  ;  dip, 
60°  to  70;  300  feet;  seventhly,  200  feet  of  ashen-gray  shales  and  sand- 
stones ;  eighthly,  400  to  600  feet  of  alternate  beds  of  shaly  clay  sand- 
stone and  quartzites.  This  last  group  doubtless  contains  the  Lower 
Cretaceous  beds.  The  harder  layers,  6  to  10  feet  thick,  rise  above  the 
general  surface  of  the  mountain-side  like  walls.  The  dip  is  50°  to  60°. 
The  dark  laminated  clays  of  the  Cretaceous  passing  up  into  the  Upper 
Cretaceous  are  well  shown  with  jjerfect  continuity,  then  passing  up  into 
a  great  thickness  of  somber  brown  sandstones  of  the  Coal  group.  There 
is  a  great  uniformity  in  the  Upper  Cretaceous  and  Tertiary  series.  We 
can  detect  some  variations  in  color  and  texture,  but  they  are  of  minor 
importance,  and  could  not  be  easily  described  in  words.  At  one  point 
the  strata  are  much  crushed  together.  The  dip  of  the  beds  just  described 
is  toward  the  southeast ;  but,  by  the  elevation  of  the  mountain  to  the 


southeast,  the  inclination  of  the  Lower  Tertiary  and  Cretaceous  beds  is 
reversed  northwest  15°  to  25°,  extending  to  the  summits  of  the  monnl- 
aius,  which  rise  3,000  feet  above  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  and  are  capped 
with  Carboniferous  limestones. 

From  the  general  appearance  of  the  surface  of  the  country,  I  believe 
that  there  was  originally  much  greater  uniformity  in  the  inclination  of 
the  sedimentary  strata,  in  the  aggregate,  than  there  is  at  present.  The 
volcanic  forces  which  operated  at  a  period  subsequent  to  the  elevation 
of  the  older  sedimentary  beds  rendered  their  position  much  more  chaotic 
in  many  localities.  We  have  here,  within  a  few  miles,  the  Carboniferous 
beds,  near  the  channel  of  the  Yellowstone,  and  the  same  strata  capping 
a  mountain-peak  3,000  feet  above  it.  We  have  also,  in  the  exposure  here 
and  there  of  a  consecutive  series  of  the  sedimentary  beds,  continual 
proofs  of  our  statement  that  they  originally  extended  all  over  the  area 
now  occupied  by  the  valley  and  the  mountain  ranges  that  border  it. 

The  study  of  the  series  of  sedimentary  rocks,  so  finely  Exposed  at  Cin- 
nabar Mountain  and  with  such  regularity  of  sequence,  reveals  another 
interesting  fact — that  the  Yellowstone  Valley  may  be,  in  part  at  least, 
one  of  anticlinal  origin.  We  have  before  shown  that  the  limestone 
range  contracted  to  a  narrow  belt  near  Fort  Ellis  and  Bozeman  Pass ; 
that  near  the  head  of  Trail  Creek  the  ridge  seemed  to  divide,  the 
north  portion  of  the  anticlinal  crossing  the  Yellowstone  Eiver  at  the 
Lower  Caiion,  and  continuing  a  little  south  of  east  along  the  sources 
of  the  branches  of  the  Yellowstone,  as  Big  Bowlder,  Eosebud,  Black's 
Fork.  The  south  portion  extended  southward  along  the  western  side 
of  the  dividing  range  between  the  drainage  of  the  Yellowstone  and  the 
Missouri  Elvers.  Cinnabar  Mountain  seems  therefore  to  represent  a 
fragment  of  the  south  portion,  which  has  not  been  concealed  by  debris 
or  volcanic  outflow,  or  removed  by  erosion. 

About  four  miles  above  Cinnabar  Mountain  the  basalt  seems  to  have 
poured  out  over  the  entire  surface,  and  forms  mountain-peaks,  rising 
2,000  to  2,500  feet  above  the  valley.  In  the  sides  of  some  of  the  foot- 
hills are  exposed  from  100  to  300  feet  of  strata  nearly  or  quite  hori- 
zontal, and  apparently  modern — not  older  than  Pliocene — sands,  sand- 
stones, and  marly  clays,  overlaid  by  beds  of  basalt.  They  have  the 
davk-brown  hue  which  all  the  modern  rocks  seem  to  have  when  con- 
tiguous to  igneous  outflows.  From  Cinnabar  Mountain,  to  the  mouth 
of  Gardiner's  Eiver,  about  six  miles,  the  Yellowstone  Yalley,  which 
expands  out  on  the  west  side  to  a  width  of  about  two  miles,  is  covered 
with  rounded  bowlders  of  massive  granite.  The  mica  is  usually  black, 
so  that  the  granites  have  a  somber  hue  somewhat  like  ancient  trap.  The 
channel  of  the  river  is  also  filled  with  these  huge  bowlders,  which  have 
probably  been  brought  down  from  the  caiion  of  the  Yellowstone  oppo- 
site Gardiner's  Eiver.  Just  above  Cinnabar  Mountain,  on  the  east  side 
of  the  Yellowstone,  the  more  modern  beds  make  their  appearance  low 
down  on  the  sides  of  the  mountains,  as  if  the  dip  of  the  sedimentary 
rocks  had  changed  toward  the  east,  and  the  channel  had  cut  through 
the  intervals  of  the  ridges,  exposing  the  outcropping  edges  of  about 
800  feet  of  Tertiary  beds  of  various  colors  and  textures.  They  are  filled 
with  intrusions  of  basalt.  The  sides  of  the  hills  are  covered  with  the 
dark  debris.  Bear  Gulch  is  a  deep,  narrow  canon,  which  the  little  stream 
has  cut  into  the  mountain  side,  exposing  the  granitic  core.  Masses  of 
granite  have  been  wrenched  from  their  parent  bed  and  swept  down  into 
the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone. 
The  third  canon  is  mostly  through  the  granites.    They  are,  as  usual, 


of  a  great  variety  of  textures,  but  largely  massive  feldspar.  Between 
the  Yellowstone  and  Gardiner's  Eiver,  commencing  at  the  junction,  a 
wedge  of  land  commences,  which  rises  to  the  height  of  2,000  feet  or 
more  with  great  regularity.  This  is  a  portion  of  the  belt  of  modern 
sedimentary  beds,  as  shown  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  below  the 
junction,  as  exposing  an  outcropping  thickness  of  about  800  feet.  The 
Yellowstone  makes  a  bend  to  the  eastward  at  this  point,  running  out- 
side of  the  belt  of  sedimentary  strata,  and  carving  its  channel  out  of 
granitic  and  volcanic  rocks.  The  latter  are  composed  of  basalt,  basaltic 
conglomerate,  and  the  deposit  of  Hot  Springs.  Gardiner's  Eiver,  al- 
though diverging  but  little  from  a  parallel,  seems  to  flow  through  a 
monoclinal  interval,  exposing  a  clean,  wall-like  front  of  1,200  feet,  on  the 
east  side,  of  Cretaceous  and  Tertiary  strata.  The  dip  is  slight,  10°,  but 
toward  the  northeast,  and  as  we  ascend  the  river,  lower  beds  are  exposed, 
until  at  least  1,800  feet  of  Cretaceous  and  Lower  Tertiary  beds  are  brought 
to  the  surface  .within  a  distance  of  six  or  eight  miles.  Local  intercalated 
beds  of  basalt  are  also  exposed  toward  the  summit  of  the  hill,  and  near 
the  forks  of  the  river  a  heavy  bed  of  the  basalt,  quite  compact,  rests  hor- 
izontally on  the  inclined  edges  of  the  strata.  There  were  found  here 
quantities  of  obscure  fossils,  among  them,  a  species  of  Ostrea^  and  a  num- 
ber of  impressions  of  deciduous  leaves,  all  of  Cretaceous  affinities.  At 
another  locality  a  layer  of  shells  was  found,  and  among  them  Mr.  Meek 
detected  Corhula  pyriformis,  a  species  occurring  near  Bear  Eiver  City, 
which  is  regarded  as  of  estsary  origin,  and  of  Tertiary  age.  At  another 
point  I  found  upon  the  side  of  the  hill,  on  the  east  fork  of  Gardiner's 
Eiver,  Amonites,  Baculites,  and  Inoceramus.  There  is  little  or  no  lime 
in  this  great  group  of  beds,  simply  alternate  beds  of  sandstone,  arena- 
ceous clays,  passing  down  into  the  dark  somber  clays  of  the  Cretaceous. 
As  we  descend  in  the  series,  the  rocky  layers  diminish,  and  the  indurated 
clays  increase,  until  near  the' forks  of  Gardiner's  Eiver,  the  darl?:  Creta- 
ceous clays  are  500  feet  thick.  The  sides  of  the  bluff  hill  are  deeply  fur- 
rowed. This  inner  ridge,  which  we  have  just  attempted  to  describe,  is 
one  of  the  finest  exx^osures,  as  a  vertical  section  of  strata,  that  I  have  met 
with  in  this  portion  of  the  West.  These  beds  are  only  a  remnant  of  a 
former  period,  isolated  monuments  covering  a  very  restricted  area; 
whereas  they  must  have  extended  across  the  river,  and  all  over  the 
portion  now  occupied  by  the  mountains  to  the  westward  of  the  sources 
of  the  Missouri.  The  lower  beds  of  the  Cretaceous  with  the  Juras- 
sic and  the  Carboniferous  inclusive,  incline  from  the  east  side  of  the 
mountains,  and  dip  under  Gardiner's  Eiver;  It  is  through  the  latter 
beds  that  the  waters  of  the  White  Mountain  Hot  Springs  come  to  the 
surface.  Just  above  the  junction  of  Gardiner's  Eiver  with  the  Yellow- 
stone, on  the  east  side,  a  seam  of  earthy  lignite  six  inches  thick  crops 
out.  Below  it  is  a  layer  of  oyster-shells,  and  above  it  are  impressions  of 
deciduous  leaves.  The  local  detritus  all  over  this  valley  is  so  extensive 
that  it  deserves  continual  notice.  It  seems  to  fill  up  the  irregularities 
of  the  surface,  especially  in  the  vicinity  of  the  streams.  The  section 
made  by  the  river  reveals  50  to  100  feet  at  times,  filling  up  old  ravines 
or  gulches  worn  out  of  the  basis  rocks. 

Before  proceeding  further  with  the  general  geological  features  of  this 
country,  I  will  attempt  to  describe,  with  as  much  detail  as  possible,  one 
of  the  most  remarkable  of  the  many  marvels  of  this  wonderful  valley. 

I  have  just  described,  with  some  minuteness,  the  high  wall  of  Cre- 
taceous and  Tertiary  beds  on  the  east  side  of  Gardiner's  Eiver,  which, 
in  itself,  is  well  worthy  of  careful  attention.  Upon  the  opposite  side  of 
the  river,  on  the  slope  of  the  mountain,  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable 

*v#^^mrey  ser  j 

■  *  aci 'J' ^'m''^ '-*■'/* -■'■a 

»g.      12. 


WHITK     MOUNTAIN      HOT     SPRINGS,      GARDINER'S     RIVER,      187I. 


groups  of  hot  springs  in  the  world.  The  springs  in  action  at  the  pres- 
ent time  are  not  very  numerous  or  even  so  wonderful  as  some  of  those 
higher  up  in  the  Yellowstone  Valley  or  in  the  Fire-Hole  Basin,  but  it 
is  in  the  remains  that  we  find  so  instructive  records  of  their  past 
history.  The  calcareous  deposits  from  these  springs  cover  an  area  of 
about  two  miles  square,  (see  chart,  Fig.  12.)  The  active  springs  extend 
from  the  margin  of  the  river  5,545  feet  to  an  elevation  nearlj^  1,000  above, 
or  6,522  feet  above  the  sea  by  barometrical  measurement.  We  may 
commence  our  description  at  the  springs  near  the  margin  of  Gardiner's 
Eiver.  As  we  pass  up  the  valley  from  the  junction  of  Gardiner's  River 
with  the  Yellowstone,  we  see  all  over  the  sides  of  the  hills  upon  our  left 
the  debris  of  volcanic  rocks  mingled  with  the  Cretaceous  clays.  Indeed, 
the  entire  surface  looks  much  like  the  refuse  about  an  old  furnace.  The 
tops  of  the  rounded  hills  are  covered  with  the  fragments  of  basalt  and  con- 
glomerate, and  the  great  variety  of  somber  colors  adds  much  to  the  ap- 
pearance of  desolation.  One  or  two  depressions,  which  appear  much  like 
volcanic  vents,  are  now  filled  with  water  to  the  rim,  forming  stagnant 
lakes  fifty  to  one  hundred  yards  in  diameter.  We  pass  over  this  barren 
elevated  region,  200  to  400  feet  above  the  river-bed,  for  two  miles,  when 
we  descend  abruptly  to  the  low  bottom,  which  is  covered  with  a  thick 
calcaereous  crust,  indicating  the  former  existence  of  hot  springs.  At 
one  point  a  large  stream  of  hot  water,  6  feet  wide  and  2  feet  deep,  flows 
swiftly  along  its  channel  from  beneath  the  crust,  the  open  portion  of 
the  channel  clearly  revealed  by  the  continual  steam  arising.  The  tem- 
perature varies  from  126°  to  132°.  On  the  28th  of  August  the  tem- 
perature was  130<=',  and  about  the  15th  of  July  previous  it  was  126°. 
There  is  a  greater  quantity  of  water  flowing  from  this  spring  than 
from  any  other  in  this  region.  A  little  farther  above  are  three 
or  four  other  springs  near  the  margin  of  the  river.  These  have 
nearly  circular  basins  6  to  10  feet  in  diameter,  and  do  not  rise  above 
100°  to  120°.  Around  these  springs  are  gathered,  at  this  time,  a  number 
of  invalids,  with  cutaneous  diseases,  and  they  were  most  emphatic  in 
their  favorable  expressions  in  regard  to  the  sanitary  effects.  The 
most  remarkable  effect  seems  to  be  on  persons  afflicted  with  syphilitic 
diseases  of  long  standing.  Our  path  led  up  the  hill  by  the  side  of  a 
wall  of  lower  Cretaceous  rocks,  and  we  soon  came  to  the  most  abun- 
dant remains  of  old  springs,  which,  in  past  times,  must  have  been  very 
active.  The  steep  hill,  for  nearly  a  mile,  is  covered  with  a  thick  crust, 
and,  though  much  decomposed  and  covered  with  a  moderately  thick 
growth  of  pines  and  cedars,  still  bore  traces  of  the  same  wonderful 
architectural  beauty  displayed  in  the  vicinity  of  the  active  springs 
farther  up  the  hill.  After  ascending  the  side  of  the  mountain,  about 
a"  mile  above  the  channel  of  Gardiner's  Eiver,  we  suddenly  came  in  full 
view  of  one  of  the  finest  displays  of  nature's  architectural  skill  the  world 
can  produce.  The  snowy  whiteness  of  the  deposit  at  once  suggested 
the  name  of  White  Mountain  Hot  Spring.  It  had  the  appearance  of  a 
frozen  cascade.  If  a  group  of  springs  near  the  summit  of  a  mountain 
were  to  distribute  their  waters  down  the  irregular  declivities,  and  they 
were  slowly  congealed,  the  picture  would  bear  some  resemblance  in 

We  pitched  our  camp  at  the  foot  of  the  principal  mountain,  bj  the 
side  of  the  stream  that  contained  the  aggregated  waters  of  the  hot 
springs  above,  which,  by  the  time  they  had  reached  our  camp,  were 
sufficiently  cooled  for  our  use.  Before  us  was  a  hill  200  feet  high, 
composed  of  the  calcareous  deposit  of  the  hot  springs,  with  a  system 
of  step-like  terraces  which  would  defy  any  description  by  words.  The 
5  GS 



Fig.  13. 

eye  alone  could  convey  any  adequate  conception  to  the  mind.  The  steep 
sides  of  the  hill  were  ornamented  with  a  series  of  semicircular  basins, 
with  margins  varying  in  height  from  a  few  inches  to  6  or  8  feet,  and  so 
heautifully  scalloped  and  adorned  with  a  kind  of  bead-work  that  the  be- 
holder stands  amazed  at  this  marvel  of  nature's  handiwork.  Add 
to  this,  a  snow-white  ground,  with  every  variety  of  shade,  of  scarlet, 
green,  and  yellow,  as  brilliant  as  the  brightest  of  our  aniline  dyes. 
The  pools  or  basins  are  of  all  sizes,  from  a  few  inches  to  6  or  8 
feet  in  diameter,  and  from  2  inches  to  2  feet  deep.  As  the  water  flows 
from  the  spring  over  the  mountain  side  from  one  basin  to  another,  it 
loses  continually  a  portion  of  its  heat,  and  the  bather  can  find  any  desir- 
able temperature.  At  the  top  of  the  hill  there  is  a  broad  flat  terrace 
covered  more  or  less  with  these  basins,  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  two 
hundred  yards  in  diameter,  andmany  of  them  going  to  decay.  Here  wefind 
the  largest,  finest,  and  most  active  spring  of  the  group  at  the  present 
time.  The  largest  spring  is  very  near  the  outer  margin  of  the  terrace 
and  is  25  by  40  feet  in  diameter,  the  water  so  perfectly  transparent  that 
one  can  look  down  into  the  beautiful  ultramarine  depth  to  the  bottom 

of  the  basin. 
The  sides  of 
the  basin 
are    orna- 
mented with 
forms,  with 
a  great  va- 
r  i  e  t  y     of 
X)ure    white 
to  a  bright 
cream -yel- 
low, and  the 
blue  sky  re- 
flected  in 
parent    wa- 
ters gives  an 
azure  tint  to 
the  whole 
which    sur- 
passes all 
The  calcareous  deposit  around  the  rim 
i>  .ilso  most  elegantly  ornamented,  but,  like 
ilic  icy  covering  of  a  pool,  extends  from  the 
<  «1l<  toward  the  center,  and  this  projects  over 
ili(  basin  until  it  is  not  more  than  a  fourth  of 
.III  inch  thick.    These  springs  have  one  or 
more  centers  of  ebullition,  and  in  this  group  it 
is  constant,  seldom  rising  more  than  two  to 
four  inches  above  the  surface.    From  various 
portions  of  the  rim  the  water  flows  out  in 
moderate  quantities  over  the  sides  of  the  hill. 
Whenever  it  gathers  into  a  channel  and  flows 
quite  swiftly,  basins  with  sides  from  2  to  8  feet 
OF  OVERFLOW  OF  jj^jo'h  arc  foHucd,  with  the  ornamental  designs 
proportionately  coarse,  but  when  the  water 

'^■Zl^d^S'Ut^'ili-  VTI  •  f  « 







flows  slowly,  myriads  of  the  little  basins  are  formed,  one  below  the  other, 
with  a  kind  of  irregular  system,  as  it  might  be  called,  which  constitntes 
the  difference  between  the  works  of  nature  and  the  works  of  art.  The 
water  holds  a  great  amount  of  lime  in  solution.  It  also  contains  some 
soda,  alumina,  and  magnesia.  The  ebullition  is  largely  due  to  the  emission 
of  large  quantities  of  carbonic  acid  gas.  As  these  waters  flow  down  the 
sides  of  the  mountain,  they  constantly  deposit  more  or  less  of  this  calca- 
reous sediment  in  almost  every  possible  variety  of  form.  Underneath 
the  sides  of  many  of  these  pools  are  rows  of  stalactites  of  all  sizes,  many 
of  them  exquisitely  ornamented,  formed  by  the  dripping  of  the  water 
over  the  margins  of  the  basins.  The  annexed  illustrations  will  convey 
some  idea  of  the  form  of  these  bathing-pools  as  they  are  arranged  one 
above  the  other,  but  the  beautiful  series  of  photographs  taken  by  Mr. 
Jackson  are  of  far  greater  value.  Even  the  photograph,  which  is  so  re- 
markable for  its  fidelity  to  nature,  falls  far  short.  It  fails  to  give  the 
exquisitely  delicate  contrasts  of  coloring  which  are  so  pleasing  to  the 
eye.  (Fig.  13.) 

On  the  west  side  of  this  deposit,  about  one-third  of  the  way  up  the 
White  Mountain  from  the  river  and  terrace,  which  was  once  the  theater 

of  many  active  springs,  old 
chimneys,  or  craters,  are  scat- 
tered thickly  over  the  surface, 
and  there  are  several  large 
holes  and  fissures  leading  to 
vast  caverns  beneath  the  crust. 
The  crust  gives  off  a  dull  hollow 
sound  beneath  the  tread,  and 
the  surface  gives  indistinct  evi- 
dence of  having  been  adorned 
with  the  beautiful  pools  or  ba- 
sins just  described.  As  we  pass 
up  to  the  base  of  the  principal 
terrace,we  find  a  large  area  cov- 
ered with  shallow  pools,  some 
of  them  containing  water  with 
all  the  ornamentations  perfect, 
while  others  are  fast  going  to 
decay,  and  the  decomposed  sed- 
iment is  as  white  as  snow.  Up- 
on this  kind  of  sub-terrace  is  a 

[^\1' .^6  I'l-    remarkable  cone  about  50  feet 

^^i^"'  "  ^fe  in  height  and  20  feet  in  diameter  at  the  base. 

^;  From  its  form  we  gave  it  the  name  of  the  Liberty 

Cap.  (Fig.  14.)     It  is  undoubtedly  the  remains 

of  an  extinct  geyser.    The  water  was  forced  up 

^S"-  with  considerable  power,  and  probably  with- 
out intermission,  building  up  its  own  crater 
until  the  pressure  beneath  was  exhausted,  and 
then  it  gradually  closed  itself  over  at  the  sum- 
mit and  perished.  No  water  flows  from  it  at 
the  present  time.  The  layers  of  lime  were  deposited  around  it  like 
the  layers  of  straw  on  a  thatched  roof  or  hay  on  a  conical  stack.  Not 
far  from  the  Liberty  Cap  is  another  small  cone,  which,  from  its  form,  we 
called  the  "  Bee-hive."  These  springs  are  constantly  changing  their 
position ;  some  die  out,  others  burst  out  in  new  places.  A  fine  large  spring 
made  its  appearance  for  the  first  time  in  August  last  on  this  terrace.    On 



Fig.  15. 


the  northwest  margin  of  the  main  terrace  there  is  an  example  of  what 
I  have  called  an  oblong  mound.  There  are  several  of  them  here,  extend- 
ing in  different  directions,  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  and  fifty  yards  in 
length,  from  6  to  10  feet  high  and  from  10  to  15  feet  broad  at  the 
base.  There  is  in  all  cases  a  fissure  from  one  end  of  the  summit  to  the 
other,  usually  from  6  to  10  inches  wide,  from  which  steam  sometimes  is- 
sues in  considerable  quantities,  and  as  we  walii  along  the  top  we  can 
hear  the  water  seething  and  boiling  below  like  a  cauldron.  The  inner 
portion  of  this  shell,  as  far  down  as  we  can  see,  is  lined  with  ft  hard, 
white  enamel-like  porcelain ;  in  some  places  beautiful  crystals  of  sulphur 
have  been  precipitated  by  the  steam.  These  have  been  built  up  by  a 
kind  of  oblong  fissure-spriug  in  the  same  way  that  the  cones  have  been 
constructed.  The  water  was  continually  spouting  up,  depositing  sedi- 
ment around  the  edges  of  the  fissure  until  the  force  was  exhausted,  and 
then  the  calcareous  basin  was  rounded  up  something  like  a  thatched 
roof  by  overlapping  layers. 

Xear  the  upper  terrace,  which  is  really  an  old^rim,  are  a  number  of 
these  extinct,  oblong  geysers,  some  of  which  have  been  broken  down  so  as 
to  show  them  to  be 
a  mere  shell  or  cav- 
ern, which  is  now 
the  abode  of  wild 
animals.  (Fig.  15.) 
I  attempted  to  en- 
ter one  of  them, ' 
and  it  was  fall  of' 
sticks  and  bones  | 
which  had  been 
carried  in  by  wild 
beasts,  and  swarms 
of  bats  flitted  to 
and  fro.  Some  of 
them  have  been 
worn  away  so  that 
sections  are  ex- 
posed, showing  the 
great  number  and 

thickness  of  the  overlapping  layers  of  sediment. 
Some  of  these  mounds  are  overgrown  with  pine- 
trees,  which  must  be  at  least  eighty  to  a  hundred 
years  old.  Indeed,  the  upper  part  of  this  moun- 
tain has  the  aspect  of  a  magnificent  ruin  of  a 
once  flourishing  village  of  these  unique  structures,  now  fast  decompos- 
ing, even  more  beautiful  and  instructive  in  their  decay.  We  can  now 
study  the  layers  of  deposit,  which  are  sometimes  revealed  by  thou- 
sands on  a  single  mound,  as  we  would  the  rings  of  growth  of  a  tree. 
How  long  a  period  is  required  to  form  one  of  these  mounds,  or  to 
build  up  the  beautiful  structure  which  we  have  just  described,  I  have 
not  the  data  for  determining.  Upon  the  middle  terrace,  where  the 
principal  portion  of  the  active  springs  are  at  the  present  time,  some 
of  the  pine-trees  are  buried  in  the  sediment  apparently  to  the  depth  of 
6  or  8  feet.  All  of  them  are  dead  at  the  present  time.  We  have  evi- 
dence enough  around  the  springs  themselves  to  show  that  the  mineral- 
water  is  precipitated  with  great  rapidity.  I  think  I  am  safe  in  believing 
that  all  the  deposits  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  the  active  springs  are  con- 
stantly changing  from  the  margin  of  the  river  to  the  top  of  the  White 




Mountain  and  return.  The  deposits  upon  the  very  summit  are  great, 
though  now  there  is  very  little  water  flowing  from  the  springs,  and 
that  is  of  a  low  temperature. 

Traces  of  even  greater  activity  than  we  see  at  present  are  found 
in  some  localities,  and  it  is  more  than  probable  that  the  force  is  grad- 

Fig.   i6. 

ually  dying  out  from 
year  to  year,  and  that 
finally  it  will  cease  en- 
tirely. We  have  nu- 
merous localities  in  the 
West  where  there  have 
been  vast  groups  of  hot 
springs  and  geysers, 
but  at  the  present  time 
only  the  ruins  are  left. 
It  would  seem  proba- 
cHiMNEv,  GARDINER'S  RIVER.  Wc that thc  hcat  which 

gives  the  temperature  to  the  atmospheric  waters  rises  through  numerous 
fissures  from  one  common  source  in  the  interior  of  the  earth,  so  that 
when  from  some  cause  this  lieat  is  checked  in  its  upward  progress  in  one 

Fig.    17, 



place,  it  finds  vent  in  an- 
other, and  thus  passes 
from  point  to  point  over 
a  district.  It  is  probable 
that  they  have  existed 
since  the  period  of  vol- 
canic activity,  and  that 
now  they  are  diminishing 
in  force,  and  that  event- 
ually nothing  but  the  de- 
posit will  remain.  Large 
numbers  of  old  chimneys 
are  scattered  over  the  surface,  formed  by  what  may  be  properly  called 
pulsating  geysers.  (Figs.  16  and  17.) 

Between,  one  of  the  largest  oblong  mounds  and  the  base  of  the  upper 
terrace,  there  is  a  kind  of  a  valley -like  interval,  which  has  once  been  the 
center  of  much  activity,  but  at  the  present  time  there  are  numerous 
small  jets  from  which  the  water  is  thrown  to  the  height  of  2  to  4  feet. 
But  it  is  to  the  wonderful  variety  of  exquisitely  delicate  colors  that  this 
picture  owes  the  main  part  of  its  attractiveness.  The  little  orifices  from 
which  the  hot  water  issues  are  beautifully  enameled  with  the  porcelain- 
like lining,  and  around  the  edges  a  layer  of  sulphur  is  precipitated.  As 
the  water  flows  along  the  valley,  it  lays  down  in  its  course  a,,  pavement 
more  beautiful  and  elaborate  in  its  adornment  than  art  has  ever  yet 
conceived.  The  sulphur  and  the  iron,  with  the  green  microscopic  vege- 
tation, tint  the  whole  with  an  illumination  of  which  no  decoration-painter 
has  ever  dreamed.  From  the  sides  of  the  oblong  mound,  which  is  here 
from  30  to  50  feet  high,  the  water  has  oozed  out  at  dilferent  points, 
forming  small  groups  of  the  semicircular,  step-like  basins.  (Fig.  18.) 
•  Again,  if  we  look  at  the  principal  group  of  springs  from  the  high 
mound  above  the  middle  terrace,  we  can  see  the  same  variety  of  brilliant 
coloring.  The  wonderful  transparency  of  the  water  surpasses  anything 
of  the  kind  I  have  ever  seen  in  any  other  portion  of  the  world.  The 
sky,  with  the  smallest  cloud  that  flits  across  it,  is  reflected  in  its  clear 
depths,  and  the  ultramarine  colors,  more  vivid  than  the  sea,  are  greatly 
heightened  by  the  constant,  gentle  vibrations.    One  can  look  down  into 


the  clear  depths  and  see,  with  perfect  distinctness,  the  minutest  orna- 
ment on  the  inner  sides  of  the  basins;  and  the  exquisite  beauty  of  the 
coloring  and  the  variety  of-  forms  baffle  any  attempt  to  portray  them, 

Fig. i8. 


either  with  pen  or  pencil.  And  then,  too,  around  the  borders  of  these 
springs,  especially  those  of  rather  low  temperature,  and  on  the  sides  and 
bottoms  of  the  numerous  little  channels  of  the  streams  that  flow  from 
these  springs,  there  is  a  strilting  variety  of  the  most  vivid  colors.  1  can 
only  compare  them  to  our  most  brilliant  aniline  dyes — various  shades 
of  red,  from  the  brightest  scarlet  to  a  bright  rose  tint ;  also  yellow,  from 
deep-bright,  sulphur,  through  all  the  shades,  to  light  cream-color.  There 
are  also  various  shades  of  green,  from  the  peculiar  vegetation.  These 
springs  are  also  filled  with  minute  vegetable  forms,  which  under  the 
microscope  prove  to  be  diatoms,  among  which  Dr.  Billings  discovers 
Palmella  and  Oscillara.  There  are  also  in  the  little  streams  that  flow 
from  the  boiling  springs  great  quantities  of  a  fibrous,  silky  substance, 
apparently  vegetable,  which  vibrates  at  the  slightest  movement  of  the 
water,  and' has  the  appearance  of  the  finest  quality  of  cashmere  avooI. 
When  the  waters  are  still  these  silken  masses  become  incrusted  with 
lime,  the  delicate  vegetable  threads  disappear,  and  a  fibrous,  spongy 
mass  remains,  like  delicate  snow-white  coral.  Although  these  springs 
are  in  a  constant  state  of  violent  ebullition  at  different  x>oints  in  the 
basin,  yet  it  will  be  seen  on  the  chart  that  the  temperatures  are  far 
below  boiling-point,  the  highest  being  162°.  Owing'  to  the  thinness  of 
the  rim  of  the  basin,  and  the  heat  from  the  steam,  it  was  impossible  to 
take  the  temperature  except  at  the  edges,  and  by  no  means  at  the  hottest 
X)ortion ;  and  the  violent  ebullition  is  undoubtedly  due  in  part  to  the 
evolution  of  carbonic  acid  gas.  It  is  quite  possible  that  the  thermome- 
ter would  have  indicated  the  boiling-point  (which  at  this  elevation  is 
about  194°)  if  it  could  have  been  placed  in  one  of  these  centers  of 



ebullition.  The  grotto  in  the  glen,  (Fig.  19,)  is  a  fine  illustration  of 
the  beautiful  decorations,  and  along  the  channels  of  the  streams  that  flow 
from  the  vivid  coloring  is  well  displayed.  From  the  summit  the  stream 
is  continually  arising  from  a  number  of  vents,  each  one  of  whicli  is 
lined  with  sulphur.  Quantities  of  steam  are  ever  ascending  from  the 
springs,  but  on  a  damp  morning  the  entire  slope  of  the  mountain  is 
enveloped  in  clouds  of  vapor. 

The  question  of  the  an-  Fig.  19. 

tiquityof  these  springs  is 
one  of  great  interest,  and 
yet,  with  all  the  evidence 
before  us,  it  is  somewhat 
obscure.  Upon  the  mar- 
gins of  the  mountain,  high 
above  the  present  position 
of  the  hot  si)rings,  is  a  bed 
of  very  white  or  yellowish- 
white  limestone,  50  to  150 
feet  thick,  and  appearing 
in  the  distance  like  very 
pure  Carboniferous  lime- 
stone. (Fig.  20.)  It  is  reg- 
ularly stratified,  and  the 
jointing  is  complete,  and 
immense  masses  have  fallen  down  on  the  slope  of  the  mountain  side. 
There  is  a  belt  a  mile  long  and  one-fourth  of  a  mile  wide,  covered  with 

Fig. 20. 



immense  cubical  blocks  of  the  limestone  50  to  100  feet  in  each  dimension, 


usually  with  the  weclge-shai^ed  end  projecting  upward,  as  if  the  mass 
had  slowly  fallen  down  as  the  underlying  rocks  were  worn  away  by 
erosion.  So  thickly  is  this  belt  covered  with  these  huge  masses  that  it 
is  with  the  greatest  difficulty  one  can  walk  across  it.  It  would  seem 
that  this  bed  must  at  one  time  have  extended  over,  a  portion  or  all 
of  'the  valley  of  Gardiner's  Eiver.  Much  of  the  rock  is  very  compact, 
and  would  make  beautiful  building-stone,  on  account  of  its  close  texture 
and  color,  and  it  could  be  converted  into  the  whitest  of  lime.  If  the 
rocks  are  examined,  however,  over  a  considerable  area,  they  will  be 
found  to  possess  all  the  varieties  of  structure  of  a  hot-spring  deposit. 
Some  portions  are  quite  spongy,  and  decompose  readily ;  others  are  made 
up  of  very  thin  laminse,  regular  or  wavy ;  enough  to  show  the  origin  of 
the  deposit  without  a  doubt.  But  in  w^at  manner  w^as  it  formed?  1 
believe  that  the  limestone  was  precipitated  in  the  bottom  of  a  lake, 
which  was  filled  with  hot  springs,  much  as  the  calcareous  matter  is  laid 
down  in  the  bottom  of  the  ocean  at  the  present  time.  Indeed,  portions 
of  the  rock  do  not  differ  materially  from  the  recent  limestones  now  form- 
ing in  the  vicinity  of  the  "West  India  Islands.  The  deposit  was  evi- 
dently laid  down  on  a  nearly  level  surface,  with  a  moderately  uniform 
thickness,  and  the  strata  are  horizontal.  Since  this  group  of  strata 
was  formed,  the  country  has  been  elevated  to  some  extent  at  least,  and 
the  valley  of  Gardiner's  Eiver  has  been  carved  out,  so  that  the  com- 
mencement of  the  period  of  activity  of  these  springs  must  date  back  to 
a  period  merging  on  to,  but  just  prior  to,  the  present,  probably  at  the 
time  of  the  greatest  action  of  the  volcanic  forces. 

We  may  now  ask  why  these  deposits  are  mainly  calcareous,  and  what 
is  the  source  of  the  lime. 

I  have  already  given  a  brief  account  of  the  geological  formations  in 
the  immediate  vicinity.  On  the  side  of  Gardiner's  Eiver,  opposite  the 
hot  springs,  there  is  a  bluff  wall  extending  about  six  miles,  composed 
of  150  feet  in  the  aggregate  of  Upper  Cretaceous  and  Lower  Tertiary 
strata,  with  some  irregular  intercalated  beds  of  basalt.  The  river  itself 
flows  through  a  sort  of  monoclinal  interval ;  that  is,  the  bluff"  wall  just 
alluded  to  is  formed  of  the  outcropping  edges  of  the  strata,  while  on 
the  op})Osite  side  or  slope  the  lower  beds  incline  in  the  same  direction. 
Near  the  river  some  of  the  lower  beds  are  Cretaceous,  but  they  soon  pass 
to  the  Jurassic  and  Carboniferous ;  on  the  east  side  of  the  springs  are  beds 
of  arenaceous  limestone  full  of  Jurassic  fossils.  We  can  then  see  that  the 
vast  thickness  of  Tertiary  and  Cretaceous  strata  once  extended  across 
Warm  Spring  Creek,  over  the  slope  of  the  mountain  occupied  by  the 
hot-spring  deposit,  and,  probably,  westward  across  the  vast  divide  into 
the  Missouri  Valley.  We  have,'also,  clear  proof  that,  underneath  this 
calcareous  deposit,  there  is  at  least  a  thickness  of  1,500  feet  of  Carbon- 
iferous limestone. 

If  the  origin  of  the  heat  which  so  elevates  the  temperature  of  the 
waters  of  these  springs  is  as  deep-seated  as  is  generally  supposed,  then 
the  heated  waters  have  ample  play  for  their  jiower  in  dissolving  the 
calcareous  rocks  beneath.  There  are  several  localities  in  the  valley  of 
the  Yellowstone  where  the  deposits  are  calcareous,  but  most  of. them 
are  unimportant,  and  the  springs  themselves  have  entirely  disappeared. 
If  we  divide  the  springs  according  to  the  character  of  their  deposits, 
we  shall  find  that  there  are  two  principal  classes — those  in  which  lime 
predominates,  and  those  which  have  an  excess  of  •silica;  or  calcareous 
and  siliceous  springs.  We  shall  present  this  subject  more  fully  in  a 
subsequent  portion  of  this  report. 

In  figure  21 1  have  attempted  to  present  an  ideal  section  of  the  strata 



on  Gardiner's  Eiver.  Upon  the  summit  of  the  Tertiary  and  Cretaceous 
strata,  at  the  right,  is  a  bed  of  basalt.  While  passing  by,  under  the 
river  and  beneath  the 
calcareous  deposit  of  the 
springs,  are  the  Carbon- 
iferous limestones;  be- 
neath all,  we  suppose, 
there  is  a  great  thickness 
of  trachyte.  We  may 
also  suppose  that  the 
meteoric  waters  pass 
up  to  the  surface 
through  the  limestone, 
as  shown  in  the  section, 
cleaving  the  lime  that  is 
deposited  on  the  way. 
This  subject  will  be  dis- 
cussed more  fully  in  a 
future  report. 

We  have  already  spo- 
ken of  the  wedge-like 
ridge  between  the  Yel- 
lowstone and  Gardiner's 
Elvers,  and  the  wall  of 
Cretaceous  Tertiary,  and 
basaltic  strata  facing  the 
hot-spring  district. 
These  consist  of  alternate 
beds  of  dark-brown  clays 
and  somber-gray  sand- 
stone, some  portions 
thinly  laminated  or  com- 
pact like  quartzite ;  in- 
clination,  east  10°. 
These  beds  extend  up  in 
their  full  force  about 
three  miles  above  the 
springs  on  the  east  side 
of  the  East  Fork,  where 
they  become  obscured  by 
basaltic  rocks  and  detri- 
tus. Masses  of  basalt 
have  fallen  down  from 
the  summit  of  the  ridge 
into  the  valley  below,  in 
many  instances  obstruct- 
ing the  current  and  ren- 
dering traveling  difficult. 
About  a  mile  above  the 
springs,  Gardiner's  Eiver 
separates  into  three 
branches,  which  we  may 
call  East,  Middle,  and 
West  Forks.  They  take 
their  rise  high  up  in  the 
divide  that  separates  the 
lake  basin  from  the  valley  below 

I  have  estimated  the  length  of  these 


forks  to  be  fifteen  miles  each.  As  we  ascended  the  high  ridge  between 
the  East  and  Middle  Forks,  we  obtained  a  fine  view  of  the  surrounding 
country.  Far  to  the  southwest  are  fine  lofty  peaks  covered  with  snow, 
and  rising  to  the  height  of  10,000  feet.  They  form  a  i3art  of  the  mag- 
nificent range  of  mountains  that  separates  the  Yellowstone  from  the 
sources  of  the  Gallatin.  From  this  high  ridge  we  can  look  down  into 
the  chasm  of  the  Middle  Fork,  which  is  carved  out  of  the  basalt  and 
basaltic  conglomerates  to  the  depth  of  500  to  800  feet,  with  nearly 
vertical  sides.  In  the  sides  of  this  caiion,  as  well  as  those  of  the  East 
Fork,  splendid  examples  of  basaltic  columns  are  displayed,  as  perfect 
as  those  of  the  celebrated  Fingal's  Cave.  They  usually  appear  in  regular 
rows,  vertical,  five  and  six  sided,  but  far^more  sharply  cut  than  any  I 
have  ever  seen  in  the  West.  Sometimes  there  are  several  rows,  one 
above  the  other,  with  conglomerate  between,  usually  about  fifty  feet 
high.  Sometimes,  however,  these  columns  are  spread  out  fan-like,  as  is 
shown  in  the  figure.  (Fig.  22.) 

The  top  of  the  canon  is  about  500  yards  from  margin  to  margin,  but 
narrowing  down  until  on  the  bottom  it  is  not  more  than  forty  yards 
Fig.  22.  wide.    At  one  point  the  water  pours 

over  a  declivity  of  300  feet  or  more, 
forming  a  most  beautiful  cascade.  The 
direct  fall  is  over  100  feet.  The  con- 
stant roar  of  the  water  was  pleasant  to 
the  ear,  and  reminded  us  most  strongly 
of  a  train  of  cars  in  motion.  The  pines 
are  A^ery  dense,  usually  of  moderate 
size,  and  among  them  are  many  open 
spaces,  which  are  covered  with  stout 
grass,  sometimes  with  large  sage- 
bushes.  Upon  the  high  mountain  hills 
the  vegetation  is  remarkably  luxuriant, 
indicating  great  fertility  of  soil.  The 
detritus  is  usually  very  thick,  and  cov- 
BASALT  AT  LOW  FALLS  OH  cardiner's  RIVER,  g^s  a  grcat  portiou  of  tho  surfacc,  and 
this  is  made  up  mostly  of  degraded  igneous  rocks.  Above  the  falls  the 
rows  of  vertical  columns  continue  in  the  walls  of  the  caQon,  and  they 
may  well  be  ranked,  with  great  fitness,  among  the  remarkable  wonders 
of  this  rare  wonder-land.  The  lower  portion  of  the  canon  is  composed 
of  rather  coarse  igneous  rocks,  which  have  a  jointage  and  a  style  of 
weathering  like  granite. 

South  of  the  hot  springs  we  ascended  a  round  dome-like  mountain, 
which  rises  2,100  feet  above  them.  From  the  summit  we  could  look  from 
thirty  to  fifty  miles  in  every  direction.  To  the  north  and  west  of  us  a 
group  of  lofty  peaks  were  very  conspicuous — over  10,000  feet  above  the 
sea,  and  covered  with  huge  masses  of  snow.  These  peaks  form  a  part 
of  the  range  that  separates  the  waters  of  the  Gallatin  from  those  of  the 
Yellowstone.  Farther  on  to  the  southward  are  the  peaks  of  the  head 
of  the  Madison,  and  in  the  interval  one  black,  undulatory  mass  of  pine, 
with  no  point  rising  over  8,500  feet  above  the  sea.  These  might  be  called 
high  plateaus,  more  or  less  wavy  or  rolling,  interspersed  here  and  there 
with  beautiful  lakes  a  few  hundred  yards  in  diameter ;  and  here  and 
there  a  bright-green  grassy  valley,  through  which  the  little  streams  wind 
their  way  to  the  large  rivers.  In  one  of  these  lakes  we  saw  the  greatest 
abundance  of  a  yellow  water-lily  like  N'uphar  advena.  On  the  east  side 
of  Gardiner's  Canon,  and  west  of  the  Yellowstone,  is  a  sort  of  wave- 
like series  of  ridges,  one  after  the  other,  with  broad,  open,  grassy  inter- 


spaces,  with  many  groves  of  pines.  These  ridges  gradually  slope  down 
to  the  Yellowstone,  northeast.  Far  to  the  east  and  north  is  one  jagged 
mass  of  volcanic  peaks,  some  of  them  snow-clad,  others  bald  and  desolate 
to  the  eye.  Far  to  the  south,  dimly  outlined  on  the  horizon,  may  be  seen 
the  three  Tetons  and  Madison  Peak— monarchs  of  all  the  region.  A 
grander  view  could  not  well  be  conceived.  The  summits  and  sides  of 
the  mountain  are  thickly  covered  with  fragments  of  dull-brown  basalt ; 
but  what  seemed  most  strange  were  the  rounded  masses  of  black,  very 
compact  basalt,  mingled  with  the  less  compact  angular  fragments, 
broken  from  the  mountain  side.  How  did  these  huge  bowlders  reach 
these  lofty  summits?  They  are  not  numerous,  and,  at  the  present 
time,  the  proofs  of  water  having  covered  these  mountain  tops  since  they 
have  attained  their  present  elevation  are  not  clear.  It  is  quite  possible 
they  were  lodged  there  prior  to  the  period  of  its  elevation. 

The  three  forks  of  Gardiner's  River  rise  high  up  in  the  mountains, 
among  the  perpetual  snows.  They  wind  their  way  across  a  broad  pla- 
teau covered  mostly  with  a  dense  growth  of  pines,  but  with  broad, 
open,  meadow-like  spots,  which'  can  be  seen  clearly  from  some  high 
mountain  peak,  and  lend  a  charm  to  the  landscape.  After  gathering  a 
sufficient  supply  of  water,  they  commence  wearing  their  channels  down 
into  the  volcanic  rocks,  which  continue  to  grow  deeper  as  they  descend. 
Each  one  has  its  water-fall,  which  would  fill  an  artist  with  enthusiasm. 
The  West  Fork  rolls  over  a  bed  of  basalt,  which  is  divided  by  jointage 
into  blocks  that  give  the  walls  the  appearance  of  mason-work  on  a 
gigantic  scale.  Below  the  falls  the  river  has  cut  the  sides  of  the  mount- 
ain, so  that  we  can  see  a  vertical  section  400  feet  high,  with  the  same 
irregular  jointage. 

After  exploring  the  Middle  and  West  Forks  we  climbed  up  the  steep 
sides  of  the  canon  of  the  East  Fork,  passed  the  picturesque  cascade  and 
basaltic  columns,  and  finally  reached  the  summit  of  the  ridge  which 
separates  the  caiion  from  Gardiner's  Eiver.  The  highest  point  of  the 
ridge  is  450  feet  above  the  bed  of  basalt  that  forms  the  margin  of  the 
east  wall  of  Gardiner's  Eiver.  Beds  of  sandstone  are  here  mingled 
with  basalt  in  dire  confusion.  From  this  ridge  the  third  caiion  is  well 
shown.  Among  the  ridges  of  sandstone  and  basalt,  are  several  pretty 
lakes  from  two  hundred  to  four  hundred  yards  in  length.  These  little 
lakes  are  really  expansions  of  the  drainage,  and  are  usually  in  the 
synclinal  troughs.  East  of  the  summit  of  the  ridge  the  sedimentary 
beds  assume  a  reversed  dip  from  the  mountains  on  the  east  side  of  the 
Yellowstone.  We  find,  therefore,  the  Jurassic  arenaceous  limestones  and 
sandstones,  and  the  limestones  of  the  Carboniferous,  near  the  margins 
of  the  caiion.  On  the  summit  of  the  ridge  the  basalt  is  quite  coarse, 
and  decomposes  into  a  kind  of  sandy  clay.  I  can  only  give  a  general 
idea  of  the  geology  of  this  region.  The  chaos  is  so  great  that  it  would 
occupy  one  entire  season  to  unravel  the  singular  structure,  and  then 
the  results  would  be  so  meager  of  i)rofit  or  instruction  that  they  would  be 
most  unsatisfactory.  The  real  thought  involved  in  it  is  not  difficult  to 
abstract.  The  third  canon  is  formed  partly  by  erosion  and  i)artly  by 
upheaval,  and  the  rocks  which  compose  its  walls  are  granitic  and 
igneous.  The  basis  rocks  are  the  granitoid,  while  filling  up  the 
irregularities  of  the  surface  are  the  volcanic  materials  of  various 
kinds.  The  same  may  be  said  of  the  lofty,  rugged  range  of 
mountains  on  the  east  side  of  the  river.  A  group  of  volcanic 
peaks  of  varied  forms  filled  up  the  broad  interval  between  the 
Yellowstone  and  the  sources  of  the  Big  Horn.  They  vary  in  height  from 
9,500  to  10,000  feet  above  the  sea,  and  are  grouped  without  the  least 
regularity.    The  peaks  themselves  do  not  seem  to  be  connected  together 


along  any  line  or  axis  of  elevation,  but  each  one,  like  a  group  of  hot 
springs,  seems  to  have  been  a  volcanic  vent  which  built  up  its  own  cone. 
The  igneous  rocks  have  been  poured  out  over  the  metamorphic,  plainly 
at  different  periods.  The  general  mineral  character  of  the  igneous  ma- 
terial is  about  the  same,  but  the  colors  and  textures  are  very  variable ; 
some  of  them  are  coarse,  decomposing  easily ;  others  rough,  angular, 
vesicular,,  or  compact ;  some  rod,  purple,  brown,  black,  &c.  The  study 
ofthe  immense  masses  of  basaltic  conglomerate  which  cover  the  country 
everywhere,  especially  in  the  upper  basin,  affords  the  best  opportuni- 
ties of  ascertaining  the  different  varieties  of  the  igneous  rocks  in  the 
country,  for  fragments  of  all  kinds  seem  to  have  been  included  in  the 
volcanic  paste. 

After  leaving  Gardiner's  Eiver  we  ascended  the  broad  slope  of  the 
dividing  ridge  between  that  river  and  the  little  branches  that  flow  into 
the  Yellowstone.  Below  and  above  the  entrance  of  the  East  Fork,  im- 
mense bowlders  of  massive  granite,  considerably  rounded,  are  a  marked 
feature.  One  of  them,  partially  rounded  by  water,  is  25  feet  thick  and 
50  feet  long,  with  a  fracture  directly  through  the  middle.  It  is  a  mas- 
sive red  feldspathic  granite.  The  ridge  of  Carboniferous  limestone,  which 
is  exposed  on  the  west  margin  of  the  third  caiion,  extends  up  in  frag- 
ments for  six  or  eight  miles.  It  is  very  brittle  and  cherty.  The  high 
vfuvj  ridge,  which  is  about  9,000  feet  above  the  sea,  is  composed  of  beds 
of  steel-gray  and  brown  sandstone,  clays,  and  a  calcareous  clay,  with  nu- 
merous impressions  of  deciduous  leaves ;  vast  quantities  of  silicified 
wood  of  greatest  perfection  and  beauty  are  scattered  all  over  the  sur- 
face. Some  quite  long  trees  and  stumps  were  observed  by  the  party. 
The  layers  of  growth  were  as  perfectly  shown  as  in  any  of  our  recent 
woods.  Upon  the  summit  of  the  ridges  or  hills  were  beds  of  basalt  as 
usual.  We  have,  then,  a  chaos  here  which  it  would  be  impossible  to  un- 
ravel, except  by  tracing  the  formations  from  far  distant  points  in  their 
continuity.  The  detritus  is  so  thick  and  upon  this  grows  such  a  luxuri- 
ant vegetation,  either  grass  or  dense  forests  of  pine,  that  the  sediment- 
ary rocks  are  exposed  only  here  and  there  over  restricted  areas.  We- 
know,  however,  that  up  to  the  Grand  Gaiion,  and  up  the  East  Fork,  for 
fifteen  miles,  the  Carboniferous,  Jurassic,  Cretaceous,  and  Tertiary  groups 
are  represented  more  or  less,  although  we  can  only  catch  glimpses  of 
them  at  rare  intervals.  We  were  traveling  through  this  region  in  the 
latter  part  of  the  month  of  July,  and  all  the  vegetation  seemed  to  be  in  the 
height  of  its  growth  and  beauty.  The  meadows  were  covered  densely 
with  grass,  and  flowers  of  many  varieties,  and  among  the  pines  were 
charming  groves  of  poplars,  contrasting  strongly  by  their  peculiar  en- 
livening foliage  with  the  somber  hue  of  the  pines.  The  climate  was 
perfect,  and  in  the  midst  of  some  of  the  most  remarkable  scenery  in 
the  world,  every  hour  of  our  march  only  increased  our  enthusiasm. 

The  climate  cluring  the  months  of  June,  July,  and  August,  in  this  val- 
ley, cannot  be  surpassed  in  the  world  for  its  health-giving  powers.  The 
finest  of  mountain  water,  fish  in  the  greatest  abundance,  with  a  good 
supply  of  game  of  all  kinds,  fully  satisfy  the  wants  of  the  traveler,  and 
render  this  valley  one  of  the  most  attractive  places  of  resort  for  invalids 
or  pleasure-seekers  in  America. 

We  will  now  descend  the  ridge  in  the  more  immediate  valley  of  the 
Yellowstone  near  the  entrance  of  the  East  Fork,  and  not  far  from  the 
lower  end  of  the  Grand  Canon.  Our  road  is  a  rough  one.  The  sediment- 
ary rocks  were  crumpled  into  high,  sharp,  wave-like  series  of  ridges. 
From  innumerable  fissures,  the  igneous  matter  was  poured  out  over  the 
surface  which  cooled  into  basalt ;  and  from  these  vents  was  also  thrown 
out,  into  the  great  lake,  fragments  and  volcanic  dust,  which  were  arranged 


by  tlie  water  and  cemented  into  a  breccia.  Deep  into  these  ridges  the 
little  streams  have  cut  their  channels  in  past  ages,  forming  what  should 
be  called  valleys,  rather  than  caBlons,  with  almost  vertical  sides,  with 
rocks  cropping  out  here  and  there,  covered  mostly  with  grass  or  trees. 
These  ravines,  500  to  800  feet  deep,  occur  one  after  the  other  in  great 
numbers,  many  of  them  entirely  dry  at  present,  but  attesting  the  pre- 
sence and  power  of  aqueous  forces  at  no  very  remote  period  in  the 
past,  compared  with  which  those  of  the  present  are  utterly  insignificant. 

Not  until  surface  geology  receives  greater  attention  than  it  has  done 
up  to  this  time  will  we  comprehend  the  vastnessof  the  agencies  which  have 
wrought  out  the  wonderful  results  which  we  see  everywhere  around  us. 
What  were  the  forces  that  wrenched  from  the  parent  bed  masses  of  gran- 
ite, from  one  ton  to  five  hundred  tons  weight,  rounded  oif  the  angles  and 
lodged  them  upon  the  plains  300  to  500  feet  above  the  channels  of  the 
principl  astreamsl  Along  the  Bast  Fork,  for  twenty  miles  above  its 
mouth,  on  the  west  side,  there  is  a  sort  of  terrace  about  a  mile  in  width,  lit- 
erally covered  with  the  granite  bowlders  which  have  been  swept  down  the 
valley  from  a  short  distance  above.  •  The  granitic  rocks,  of  various  textures 
and  composition,  are  here  exposed  in  full  force.  Hell-Roaring  Mountain , 
at  the  entrance  of  the  creek  of  that  name,  is  a  huge  peak  composed  of 
stratified  gneiss.  Some  of  the  strata,  however,  are  50  to  100  feet  in 
thickness,  massive  red  or  gray  feldspathic  granite.  Just  opposite  the 
entrance  of  the  stream  there  is  a  splendid  exhibition  of  black  micaceous 
gneiss,  inclining  14°  southeast.  It  seems  to  form  a  vertical  wall  on  the 
right  side  of  a  little  creek  that  flows  into  the  Yellowstone  from  the  west, 
while  on  the  left  side  the  entire  mass  of  the  hills,  for  miles  in  extent,  is 
composed  of  the  usual  variety  of  igneous  rocks.  These  incline  in  the 
opposite  direction,  northwest,  10°  to  15*^5  so  that  this  small  stream,  now 
not  more  than  4  feet  wide  and  6  inches  in  depth,  has,  at  some  period,  had 
sufficient  power  to  cut  its  channel  two  hundred  to  four  hundred  yards 
wide,  through  the  hardest  rocks,  500  to  1,000  feet  in  depth,  to  the  level 
of  the  Yellowstone,  into  which  it  flows.  Hell-Roaring  River  is  quite  a 
large  stream,  rising  high  in  the  dividing  range  to  the  east,  and  flow- 
ing with  tremendous  impetuosity  down  the  deep  gorges,  thus  receiving- 
its  peculiar  name.  The  mountains  on  either  side  are  among  the 
most  rugged  in  the  Yellowstone  country,  and  seem  to  defy  access.  They 
come  close  down  to  the  channel  of  the  Yellowstone  on  the  east  side, 
so  that  traveling  on  that  side  is  attended  with  great  difticulty.  On  the 
west  side  the  broad,  high,  irregular,  step-like  terrace,  or  rather  group 
of  foot-hills,  300  to  800  feet  above  the  bed  of  the  Yellowstone,  isquite 
easily  traversed,  and  a  road  for  wagons  could  be  made  without  much 
labor.  There  are  some  steep  hills  which,  at  the  present  time,  appear 
formidable,  but  a  careful  exploration  might  bring  to  light  a  route  that 
would  avoid  them  mostly. 

After  crossing  the  high  divide,  between  the  drainage  of  Gardiner's 
River  and  the  group  of  little  streams  that  flow  into  the  Yellowstone  on 
the  west  side,  of  which  Tower  Creek  is  the  most  conspicuous,  we  come 
to  the  region  of  wonderful  ravines  and  canons.  Layers  of  basalt  have 
been  poured  out  over  the  basis  roclis,  of  whatever  age  they  may  be,  at 
different  periods ;  at  the  same  time  vast  quantities  of  fragments  of  basalt 
were  cemented  together  w#th  a  fine  volcanic  dust.  In  the  process  of 
wearing  out  the  ravines  and  caiions  on  either  side,  hundreds  of  curious 
pinnacles  and  columns,  resembling  groups  of  Gothic  spires,  were  carved 
out  of  the  solid  beds  of  basalt  and  breccia.  On  the  east  side  of  the  Yellow- 
stone, the  sides  of  the  mountain  rise  step-like,  and,  at  different  eleva- 
tions, the  basalt  has  poured  out  and  overflowed  like  the  deposits  of 
hot  springs,  except  that  the  deposit  is  a  dingy-black  color.    These  out- 



Fig.  23, 

flows  seem  to  be  so  modern  that  it  is  doubtful  if  any  important  cbanges 
have  taken  place  in  the  surface  since  they  occurred.  The  river  flows 
over  its  narrow  rocky  bed  with  great  velocity.  The  East  Fojk  enters  the 
Tellov»'stone  on  the  east  side  through  a  narrow  granite  canon,  and  is  a 
stream  of  considerable  magnitude.  In  the  spring  season  the  quantity 
of  water  must  be  great,  for  the  area  drained  by  it  is  at  least  forty  by 
twenty  miles,  where  the  snow  falls  in  large  quantities  and  remains  a 
large  portion  of  the  year.  About  four  miles  above,  Tower  Creek  enters 
the  Yellowstone.  On  the  west  side,  just  at  the  lower  end  of  the  Grand 
Oaiion,  within  a  few  yards,  is  the  mouth  of  Hot  Spring  Creek.  Along 
the  shores,  the  hot  water  is  oozing  and  boiling  up  through  the  soft  mud, 
covering  the  surface  with  its  peculiar  deposits ;  one  of  the  springs  has 
a  temperature  of  127°.  A  strong  smell  of  sulphuretted  hydrogen  per- 
vaded the  atmosphere.  The  banks  of  the  Yellowstone,  on  both  sides,  for 
thirty  to  fifty  feet  up  from  the  water's  edge,  have  a  most  peculiar  white- 
ness, with  yellow  portions,  due  to  the  deposits  of  old  hot  springs,  which 
were  very  abundant  here  at  some  period.  The  few  springs  that  remain 
are  full  of  sulphuretted  and  carbonated  hydrogen,  forming  a  black  car- 
bonaceous matter  on  the  surface  at  times.  There  is  also  free  sulphur, 
carbonate  of  lime,  carbonate  of  iron,  &c.  It  seems  quite  possible  that 
the  Carboniferous  limestones  do  not  exist  beneath  the  basalts  in  this 

region,  from  the  fact  that  there 
is  not  any  great  amount  of  cal- 
careous sediment.  High  up  on 
the  mountaius,  on  the  east  side 
of  the  Yellowstone,  9,500  feet, 
there  is  abluff  wall  of  limestone 
like  that  near  Warm  Spring 
Kiver,  evidently  the  same 
white  compact  rock  formed 
from  deposits  of  hot  springs 
probably  during  or  near  the 
close  of  the  Pliocene  period. 
Tower  Creek  rises  in  the  high 
divide  between  the  valleys  of 
the  Missouri  and  Yellowstone, 
and  flows  about  ten  miles' 
through  a  canon  so  deep  and 
gloomy  that  it  has  very  prop- 
erly earned  the  appellation  of 
the  "Devil's Den."  (Fig. 23.)  As 
we  gaze  from  the  margin  down 
into  the  depths  below,  the  little 
stream,  as  it  rushes  foaming 
over  the  rocks,  seems  like  a 
white  thread,  while  on  the 
sides  of  the  gorge  the  somber 
pinnacles  rise  up  like  Gothic 
spires.  About  two  hundred 
yards  above  its  entrance  into 
ibh^  Yellowstone  the  stream 
pours  over  an  abrupt  descent 
of  156  feet,  forming  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  aud  picturesque 
falls  to  be  found  in  any  coun- 
try. The  Tower  Falls  are  about 


'"#»>    **''^W9SE 



260  feet  above  the  level  of  the  Yellowstone  at  the  junction,  and  theyare 
surrounded  with  pinnaclie-like  columns,  composed  of  the  volcanic  brec- 
cia, rising-  fifty  feet  above  the  falls  and  extending  down  to  the  foot, 
standing  like  gloomy  sentinels  or  like  the  gigantic  pillars  at  the  en- 
trance of  some  grand  temple.  One  could  almost  imagine  that  the  idea 
of  the  Gothic  style  of  architecture  had  been  caught  from  such  carvings 
of  nature.  Immense  bowlders  of  basalt  and  granite  here  obstruct  the 
flow  of  the  stream  above  and  below  the  falls,  and  although,  so  far  as  we 
can  see,  the  gorge  seems  to  be  made  lip  of  the  volcanic  cement,  yet  we 
know  that,  in  the  loftier  mountains,  near  the  source  of  the  stream,  true 
granitic  as  well  as  igneous  rocks  prevail. 

In  the  walls  of  the  lower  end  of  the  Grand  Canon,  near  the  mouth  of 
Tower  Creek,  we  can  see  the  several  rows  of  columns  of  basalt  arrayed 
in  a  vertical  position,  and  as  regular  as  if  carried  and  placed  in  the  sides 
of  the  gorge  l3y  the  hand  of  art.  There  is  upon  the  surface  a  bed  of  vol- 
canic breccia,  then  a  row  of  vertical  columns,  then  the  cement  with  hot 
spring  deposits,  then  another  row  of  columns.  There  are  at  least  three 
different  series  of  the  columns,  while  above  and  below  to  the  edge  of  the 
water  are  the  volcanic  and  hot  spring  deposits.  In  the  tongue  that 
runs  down  between  the  junction  of  the  East  Fork  and  the  Yellowstone, 
there  is  a  singular  hiitte  cut  off  from  the  main  range,  Avhich  at  once  at- 
tracts the  traveler's  attention.  The  basis  or  lower  portion  of  the  hutte 
is  granite,  while  the  summit  is  capped  with  the  modern  basalt,  and 
the  debris  on  the  sides  and  at  the  base  is  remarkable  in  quantity,  and 
has  very  much  the  appearance  of  an  anthracite  coal-heap.  This  huUe 
will  always  form  a  conspicuous  landmark,  not  only  on  account  of  its 
position,  but  also  from  its  peculiar  shape  and  structure.  Just  below 
the  junction  of  the  East  Fork,abridge  was  constructed  across  the  Yellow- 
stone about  a  year  ago,  to  accommodate  the  miners  bound  for  the  ''  dig- 
gings "  on  Clark^s  Fork.  It  was  evidently  built  with  a  considerable  amount 
of  labor  and  boldness,  for  the  river  flows  with  great  rapidity  along  the 
narrow,  rocky  channel,  and  is  about  200  feet  in  width.  I  make  mention 
of  this  bridge  in  this  connection  from  the  fact  that  it  is  the  first  and  only 
one  as  yet  which  has  been  erected  across  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  and 
may  in  the  future  assume  sonie  historical  importance. 

On  the  west  side  of  the  Yellowstone  and  west  of  Tower  Falls,  the 
basalt  is  quite  massive,  sometimes  forming  columns  quite  irregular  in 
form  and  length,  dii^'ering  much  from  those  on  the  opposite  side.  The 
benches  and  irregular  step-like  terraces  along  the  Yellowstone  on  both 
sides,  which  are  quite  picturesque,  are  formed  in  part  by  the  sliding 
down  of  masses  of  earth  from  the  margins  of  the  canon.  In  the  imme- 
diate valley  there  is  a  recent  drift  deposit  of  sand  and  bowlders,  often 
stratified,  made  at  a  long  period  subsequent  to  the  carving  out  of  the 
main  channel  through  the  volcanic  rocks.  The  stratification  and  fine- 
ness of  the  sediment  would  indicate  still  water,  or  moderately  so,  at 

Soon  after  leaving  Tower  Creek,  our  road  diverged  to  the  westward  of 
the  Yellowstone  Eiver  and  crossed  the  northern  side  of  the  rim  of  the 
basin  proper,  about  a  mile  west  of  Mount  Washburn,  the  highest  peak  in 
this  portion  of  the  range.  We  followed  a  well-worn  path  up  the  north- 
ern side,  which  led  us  up  a  slope  so  gentle  that  we  were  able  to  ride  our 
horses  to  the  very  summit.  The  ground  is  everywhere  covered  with 
fragments  of  basalt  and  conglomerate,  and  at  one  locality  there  was  an 
abundance  of  fine  specimens  of  chalcedony  with  malachite,  (green  car- 
bonate of  copper.)  The  volcanic  rocks  of  this  region  contain  some  fine 
specimens  of  mineral  forms,  of  which  silica  is  the  base.  There  are  grades 
of  exquisite  beauty.    Agates  are  common. 


The  view  from  the  summit  of  Mount  Washburn  is  one  of  the  finest  I 
have  ever  seen,  and  although  the  atmosphere  was  somewhat  obscured  by 
smoke,  yet  an  area  of  fifty  to  one  hundred  miles  radius  in  every  direction 
could  be  seen  more  or  less  distinctly.  We  caught  the  first  glimpse  of  the 
great  basin  of  the  Yellowstone,  with  the  lake,  which  reminded  one  much, 
from  its  bays,  indentations,  and  surrounding  mountains,  of  Great  Salt 
Lake.  To  the  south  are  the  Tetons,  risin  g  high  above  all  the  rest,  the  mon  • 
archs  of  all  they  survey,  with  their  summits  covered  with  perpetual  snow. 
To  the  southwest  an  immense  area  of  dense  pine  forests  extends  for  one 
hundred  miles  without  a  peak  rising  above  the  black,  level  mass.  A  lit- 
tle farther  to  the  southwest  and  west  are  the  Madison  Mountains,  a  lofty, 
grand,  snow-caijped  range,  extending  far  to  the  northward.  Nearer  and 
in  full  view,  to  the  west  commence  the  bold  peaks  of  the  Gallatin  Kange, 
extending  northward  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach.  To  the  north  we 
get  a  full  view  of  the  valley  of  the  Yellowstoue,  with  the  lofty  ranges 
that  wall  it  in.  Emigrant  Peak,  and  the  splendid  group  of  moun- 
tains of  which  it  is  a  part,  can  be  clearly  seen,  and  lose  none  of  their 
marvelous  beauty  of  outline,  view  them  from  what  point  we  may.  To 
the  north  and  east  the  eye  scans  the  most  remarkable  chaotic  mass  of 
peaks  of  the  most  rugged  character,  apparently  without  system,  yet 
sending  their  jagged  summits  high  up  among  the  clouds.  Farther  dis- 
tant are  somewhat  more  regular  ranges,  snow-covered,  probably  the 
Big  Horn.  But  with  all  this  magnificent  scenery  around  us  from  every 
side,  the  greatest  beauty  was  the  lake,  in  full  view  to  the  southeast, 
set  like  a  gem  amid  the  high  mountains,  which  are  literally  bristling 
with  peaks,  many  of  them  capped  with  snow.  These  are  all  of  volcanic 
origin,  and  the  fantastic  shapes  which  many  of  them  have  assumed 
under  the  hand  of  time,  called  forth  a  variety  of  names  from  my  party. 
There  were  two  of  them  that  represented  the  human  profile  so  well  that 
we  called  them  the  "Giant's  Face"  and  "Old  Man  of  the  Mountain." 
These  formed  good  landmarks  for  the  topographer,  for  they  were  visible 
from  every  point  of  the  basin. 

Mount  Washburn  is  composed  entirely  of  the  usual  igneous  rocks. 
On  the  summits  are  piles  of  very  hard,  compact  basalt,  cleaving  into 
laminae,  or  in  irregular  blocks.  All  around  oh  the  sides  of  the  mountain 
are  immense  accumulations  of  the  usual  volcanic  breccia.  The  central 
mass  was  originally,  a  volcanic  cone,  building  up  a  crater  with  the  com- ' 
pact  basalt,  but  throwing  out  in  the  surrounding  or  enveloping  waters 
the  fragments  or  dust  which  were  cemented  together  all  around  on  the 
sides,  sometimes  reaching  very  nearly  to  the  summit.  On  the  southeast 
side  of  the  mountain  a  distinct  anticlinal  interval  or  opening  is  seen  in 
the  breccia.  The  south  side  inclines  east  25°,  and  breaks  off  abruptly 
near  the  Grand  Canon,  while  the  opposite  side  dips  west  20°.  Between 
this  anticlinal  and  the  caiion  there  is  a  bench  five  hundred  feet  below  the 
summit  of  the  mountain,  which,  I  am  convinced,  formed  the  inner  por- 
tions of  the  old  crater,  while  the  breccia  composed  the  outer  walls.  To 
the  southeast  there  is  a  grassy  plateau  ten  to  twenty  miles  in  extent, 
immediately  surrounded  with  dense  forests  of  pine.  We  may  say,  in 
brief,  that  the  entire  basin  of  the  Yellowstone  is  volcanic.  I  am  not 
prepared  to  pronounce  it  a  crater,  with  a  lake  occupying  the  inner  i)or- 
tiou,  while  the  mountains  that  surround  the  basin  are  the  ruins  of  this 
great  crater;  but,  at  a  period  not  very  remote  in  the  geological  past, 
this  whole  country  was  a  scene  of  wonderful  volcanic  activity.  I  regard 
the  hot  springs  so  abundant  all  over  the  valley  as  the  last  stages  of  this 
grand  scene.  Hot  springs,  geysers,  &c.,  are  so  intimately  connected 
with  what  we  usually  term  volcanoes  that  their  origin  and  action 


admit  of  the  same  e'splanatioii.  Both  undoubtedly  form  safety-valves 
or  vents  for  the  escape  of  the  powerful  forces  that  have  been  gener- 
ated in  the  interior  of  the  earth  since  the  commencement  of  our  pres- 
ent period;  the  true  volcanic  action  has  ceased,  but  the  safety-valves 
are  the  thousands  of  hot  springs  all  over  this  great  are^.  I  believe 
that  the  time  of  the  greatest  volcanic  activity  occurred  during  the 
Pliocene  period — smoke,  ashes,  fragments  of  rock,  and  lava  i)oured 
forth  from  thousands  of  orifices  into  the  surrounding  waters.  Hundreds 
of  cones  were  built  up,  fragments  of  which  still  remain  5  and  around  them 
were  arranged  by  the  water  the  dust  and  fragments  of  rock,  the  ejectamenta 
of  these  volcanoes,  in  the  form  of  the  conglomerate  or  breccia  as  we  find 
it  now.  These  orifices  may  have  been  of  every  possible  form — rounded 
or  oblong,  mere  fissures,  perhaps,  extending  for  miles,  and  building  uj) 
their  own  crater  rims  as  the  hot  springs  build  up  their  rounded,  conical 
peaks  or  oblong  mounds  at  the  present  time.  It  is  not  necessary  to 
enter  into  the  history  and  origin  of  either  hot  springs  or  volcanoes  in 
this  connection.  The  causes  which  have  produced  the  phenomena  here, 
either  in  the  Pliocene  period  or  the  present,  are  the  same  all  over  the 
world,  and  have  been  favorite  topics  of  discussion  by  men  of  science. 


We  will  now  enter  upon  a  description  of  the  Yellowstone  Basin  proper, 
in  which  the  greater  portion  of  the  interesting  scenery  and  wonders  is 
located.  The  term  is  sometimes  applied  to  the  entire  valley,  but  the 
basin  proper  comprises  only  that  j)ortion  inclosed  within  the  remarkable 
ranges  of  mountains  which  give  origin  to  the  waters  of  the  Yellowstone 
south  of  Mount  Washburn  and  the  G'rand  Canon.  The  range  of  which 
Mount  Washburn  is  a  conspicuous  peak  seems  to  form  the  north  wall 
or  rim,  extending  nearly  east  and  west  across  the  Yellowstone,  and  it 
is  through  this  portion  of  the  rim  that  the  river  has  cut  its  channel, 
forming  the  remarkable  falls  and  the  still  more  wonderful  canon.  The 
area  of  this  basin  is  about  fort\  miles  in  length.  From  the  summit  of 
Mount  Washburn,  a  bird's-eye  view  of  the  entire  basin  may  be  obtained, 
with  the  mountains  surrounding  it  on  every  side  without  any  apparent 
break  in  the  rim.  This  basin  has  been  called  by  some  travelers  the 
vast  crater  of  an  ancient  volcano.  It  is  probable  that  during  the  Plio- 
cene period  the  entire  country  drained  by  the  sources  of  the  Yellow- 
stone and  the  Columbia  was  the  scene  of  as  great  volcanic  activity  as 
that  of  any  portion  of  the  globe.  It  might  be  called  one  vast  crater, 
made  uj)  of  thousands  of  smaller  volcanic  vents  and  fissures,  out  of 
which  the  fluid  interior  of  the  earth,  fragments  of  rock,  and  volcanic 
dust  were  poured  in  unlimited  quantities.  Hundreds  of  the  nuclei  or 
cores  of  these  volcanic  vents  are  now  remaining,  some  of  them  rising  to 
a  height  of  10,000  to  11,000  feet  above  the  sea.  Mounts  Doane,  Lang- 
ford,  Stevenson,  and  more  tlian  a  hundred  other  peaks  may  be  seen 
from  any  high  point  on  either  side  of  the  basin,  each  of  which  formed  a 
center  of  effusion.  Indeed,  the  hot  springs  and  geysers  of  this  region, 
at  the  present  time,  are  nothing  more  than  the  closing  stages  of  that 
wonderful  period  of  volcanic  action  that  began  in  Tertiary  times.  In 
other  words,  they  are  the  escape-pipes  or  vents  for  those  internal  forces 
whiclj  once  were  so  active,  but  are  now  continually  dying  out. 

*  An, abstract  of  Chapters  V  and  VI  was  published  in  the  February  and  March  aum- 
bera  oi  the  American  Journal  of  Science. 

6  G  S 


The  evidence  is  clear  that  ever  since  the  cessation  of  the  more  power- 
ful volcanic  forces  these  springs  have  acted  as  the  escape-pipes,  but 
have  continued  to  decline  down  to  the  present  time,  and  will  do  so  in  the 
future,  until  they  cease  entirely.  The  charts  accompanying  this  report 
will  enable. the  reader  to  form  a  clear  conception  of  the  position  and 
number  of  the  most  important  springs  in  this  basin,  but  an  equal  num- 
ber of  the  dead  and  dying  have  been  omitted.  We  may  therefore  con- 
clude that  the  present  system  of  hot  springs  and  geysers  is  only  a  feebler 
manifestation  of  those  remarkable  internal  forces  of  the  earth,  which 
were  so  wonderfully  intensified  during  the  periods  of  volcanic  activity, 
that  they  really  present  for  our  study  a  miniature  form  of  volcanism. 
Even  at  the  present  time  there  are  connected  with  them  manifesta- 
tions of  internal  heat  and  earthquake  phenomena  which  are  well 
worthy  of  attention.  While  we  were  encamped  on  the  northeast  side 
of  the  lake,  near  Steamboat  Point,  on  the  night  of  the  20th  of  July, 
we  experienced  several  severe  shocks  of  an  earthquake,  and  these 
were  felt  by  two  other  parties,  fifteen  to  twenty-five  miles  distant, 
on  different  sides  of  the  lake.  We  were  informed  b}^  mountain -men 
that  these  earthquake  shocks  are  not  uncommon,  and  at  some  sea- 
sons of  the  year  very  severe,  and  this  fact  is  given  by  the  Indians 
as  the  reason  why  they  seldom  or  never  visit  that  portion  of  the 
country.  I  have  no  doubt  that  if  this  part  of  the  country  should 
ever  be  settled  and  careful  observations  made,  it  will  be  found  that 
earthquake  shocks  are  of  very  common  occurrence. 

Our  trail  passed  over  the  rim  of  the  basin  on  the  south  side  of  Mount 
Washburn,  and  the  lowest  point  was  8,774  feet.  In  crossing  this  divide  or 
rim,  I  saw,  on  the  north  side,  some  of  the  somber  argillaceous  sandstones 
that  contain  the  deciduous  leaves  between  Gardiner's  Eiver  and  Tower 
Creek,  After  passing  the  "  divide"  we  descended  the  almost  vertical  sides 
of  the  rim  into  the  valley  of  Cascade  Creek,  at  the  level  of  7,787  feet,  or 
about  1,000  feet  below  the  "  divide."  Our  trail  was  a  tortuous  one,  to 
avoid  the  fallen  timber  and  the  dense  groves  of  pine.  The  country  im- 
mediately around  the  creek  looked  like  a  beautiful  meadow  at  this  sea- 
son of  the  year,  (July  25,)  covered  with  grass  and  flowers.  Cascade 
Creek  flows  from  the  west  into  the  Yellowstone,  between  the  upper  and 
lower  falls.  Just  before  it  enters  tlie  Yellowstone,  it  flows  over  a  series 
of  ridges  and  breccia,  making  one  of  the  most  beautiful  cascades  in  this 
region ;  hence  the  name  of  the  little  stream.  Like  all  these  rapids  or 
falls,  it  is  formed  of  the  more  compact  basalt,  resisting  the  wear  of  the 
atmospheric  forces,  while  the  breccia  readily  yields.  As  this  little  cas- 
cade is  seen  from  the  east  branch  of  the  Yellowstone,  dividing  up  into  a 
number  of  little  streams  and  rushing  down  from  ledge  to  ledge  until  it 
reaches  the  bed  of  the  river,  it  presents  a  picture  of  real  beauty.  High 
up  on  Cascade  Creek,  almost  a  mile  above  its  mouth,  the  channel  is  carved 
out  of  a  kind  of  sedimentary  volcanic  sandstone,  arranged  in  regular 
strata;  most  of  it  is  so  largely  made  up  of  worn  fragments  of  obsidian 
and  other  igneous  rocks  that  it  might  be  called  a  pudding-stone.  The 
natural  sections  in  the  channel  of  this  creek  aid  us  much  in  forming  an 
idea  of  the  extent  of  the  modern  lake  deposit,  which  doubtless  began 
in  Tertiary  times,  and  continued  on  up  into  or  near  the  present  period. 
The  surface  everywhere  is  covered  with  fragments  of  volcanic  rocks, 
apparently  quite  modern,  so  that  it  presents  that  peculiar  appearance, 
which  1  have  often  alluded  to,  like  the  refuse  about  an  old  foundry. 

But  the  objects  of  the  deepest  interest  in  this  region  are  the  falls 
and  the  Grand  Caiion.    I  will  attempt  to  convey  some  idea  by  a  de- 


scriptiou,  but  it  is  only  through  the  eye  that  the  mind  can  gather 
anything  like  an  adequate  conception  of  them.  As  we  approached 
the  margin  of  the  caiion,  we  could  hear  the  suppressed  roar  of  the  falls, 
resembling  distant  thunder.  The  two  falls  are  not  more  than  one- 
fourth  of  a  mile  apart.  Above  the  Upper  Falls  the  Yellowstone  flows 
through  a  grassy,  meadow-like  valley,  with  a  calm,  steady  current, 
giving  no  warning,  until  very  near  the  falls,  that  it  is  about  to  rush  over 
a  precipice  140  feet,  and  then,  within  a  quarter  of  a  mile,  again  to  leap 
down  a  distance  of  350  feet.  Before  proceeding  further  with  a  detailed 
description  of  the  falls  and  caiion,  I  may  attempt  to  present  what  I 
believe  to  be  the  origin.  For  about  a  mile  above  the  Upper  Falls  there 
is  a  succession  of  rapids  in  the  river.  The  walls  of  the  channel  are  not 
high,  but  are  composed  of  massive  basalt.  Just  along  the  Upper  Falls 
there  are  five  huge,  detached  blocks  of  basalt  in  and  near  the  center  of 
the  channel.  These  show  the  force  with  which  the  water  has  rushed 
down  the  channel  at  some  period.  Just  above  the  Upper  Falls  are  two 
beautiful  cascades,  20  to  30  feet  high,  and  at  the  east  one,  the  rocks  so 
wall  in  the  channel  that  it  is  not  much  more  than  100  feet  wide,  and  the 
entire  volume  of  the  water,  which  must  form  a  mass  100  feet  wide  and  30 
feet  deep,  rushes  down  a  vertical  descent  of  140  feet.  There  seems  to 
have  been  a  sort  of  a  ridge  or  belt  of  very  compact  basalt  that  extended 
across  the  channel,  so  hard  as  to  resist  successfully  atmospheric  power, 
while  below,  the  nearly  vertical  walls,  which  are  composed  of  clay,  sand, 
and  bowlders,  mingled  with  hot-spring  deposits,  seem  to  have  readily 
yielded,  and  thus  the  river  has  carved  out  its  channel.  From  any  point 
of  view  the  Upper  Falls  are  most  pictijresque  and  striking.  The  entire 
volume  of  waiter  seems  to  be,  as  it  were,  hurled  off  of  the  precipice  with 
the  force  which  it  has  accumulated  in  the  rapids  above,  so  that  tlie  mass 
is  detached  into  the  most  beautiful  snow-white,  bead-like  drops,  and  as  it 
strikes  the  rocky  basin  below,  it  shoots  through  the  water  with  a  sort  of 
ricochet  for  the  distance  of  200  feet.  The  whole  presents  in  the  distance 
the  appearance  of  a  mass  of  snow-white  foam.  On  the  sides  of  the  basalt 
walls  there  is  a  thick  growth  of  vegetation,  nourished  by  the  spray 
above,  which  extends  up  as  far  as  the  moisture  can  reach.  The  upper 
j)ortion  of  the  walls  of  the  caiiou  on  the  east  side  is  composed  of  a  coarse 
volcanic  sandstone  and  pudding-stone,  perfectly  horizontal,  and  below 
are  loose  variegated  clays  and  sands.  There  is  no  doubt  that  this 
deposit  forms  a  part  of  the  bed  of  the  ancient  lake  in  its  enlarged  extent, 
and  that  this  deposit  was  made  on  the  rugged,  irregular  basalt  surface. 
In  the  mean  time,  there  were  occasional  outflows  of  igneous  matter,  and 
the  hot  springs  were  operating  in  full  force.  The  lake  basiii  was  closed 
at  the  lower  end  of  tlie  range  of  mountains  that  form  the  rim,  and  the 
river  gradually  forced  its  way  through  this  rim,  forming  the  Grand 
Canon,  draining  the  lake  basin,  and  the  falls  were  the  result.  There  is 
all  around  the  basin  a  sort  of  secondarj^  shore  in  the  form  of  a  group  of 
low,  pine-covered  hills,  varying  in  height  from  8,500  to  9,000  feet  above 
the  sea,  while  the  highest  ranges,  10^000  to  11,000  feet,  constitute  the 
primary  rim.  The  lower  hills  are  made  up  mostly  of  the  old  lake  deposit, 
and  are  either  Pliocene  or  Post-Pliocene,  probably  both. 

But  no  language  can  do  justice  to  the  wonderful  grandeur  and  beauty 
of  the  caiion  below  the  Lower  Falls ;  the  very  nearly  vertical  walls, 
slightly  sloping  down  to  the  water's  edge  on  either  side,  so  that  from 
the  summit  the  river  appears  like  a  thread  of  silver  foaming  over  its 
rocky  bottom ;  the  variegated  colors  of  the  sides,  yellow,  red,  brown, 
white,  all  intermixed  and  shading  into  each  other ;  the  Gothic  columns 
of  every  form  standing  out  from  the  sides  of  the  walls  with  greater 


variety  and  more  striking  colors  than  ever  adorned  a  work  of  human 
art.  The  margins  of  the  caiion  on  either  side  are  beautifully  fringed 
with  pines.  In  some  places  the  walls  of  the  cai5ou  are  composed  ot 
massive  basalt,  so  separated  by  the  jointage  as  to  look  like  irregular 
mason- work  going  to  decay.  Here  and  there  a  depression  in  the  sur- 
face of  the  basalt  has  been  subsequently  filled  up  by  the  more  modern 
deposit,  and  the  horizontal  strata  of  sandstone  can  be  seen.  The  de- 
composition aud  the  colors  of  the  rocks  must  have  been  due  largely  to 
hot  water  from  the  springs,  which  has  percolated  all  through,  giving  to 
them  the  present  variegated  and  unique  appearance. 

Standing  near  the  margin  of  the  Lower  Falls,  and  looking  down  the 
caiion,  which  looks  like  an  immense  chasm  or  cleft  in  the  basalt,  with 
its  sides  1,200  to  1,500  feet  high,  and  decorated  with  the  most  brilliant 
colors  that  the  human  eye  ever  saw,  with  the  rocks  weathered  into  an 
almost  unlimited  variety  of  forms,  with  here  and  there  a  pine  sending 
its  roots  into  the  clefts  on  the  sides  as  if  struggling  with  a  sort  of  un- 
certain success  to  maintain  an  existence — the  whole  presents  a  picture 
that  it  would  be  difficult  to  surpass  in  nature.  Mr.  Thomas  Moran,  a 
celebrated  artist,  and  noted  for  his  skill  as  a  colorist,  exclaimed  with  a 
kind  of  regretful  enthusiasm  that  these  beautiful  tints  were  beyond  the 
reach  of  human  art.  It  is  not  the  depth  alone  that  gives  such  an  im- 
pression of  grandeur  to  the  mind,  but  it  is  also  the  picturesque  forms 
and  coloring.  Mr.  Moran  is  now  engaged  in  transferring  this  remarkable 
IDicture  to  canvas,  and  by  means  of  a  skillful  use  of  colors  something  like  a 
conception  of  its  beauty  may  be  conveyed.  After  the  waters  of  the 
Yellowstone  roll  over  the  upper  descent,  they  flow  with  great  rapidity  over 
the  apparently  flat  rocky  bottom,  which  spreads  out  to  nearly  double  its 
width  above  the  falls,  and  continues  thus  until  near  the  Lower  Falls, 
when  the  channel  again  contracts,  and  tbe  waters  seem,  as  it  were,  to 
gather  themselves  into  one  compact  mass  and  plunge  over  the  descent 
of  350  feet  in  detached  drops  of  foam  as  white  as  show ;  some  of  the 
large  globules  of  water  shoot  down  like  the  contents  of  an  exploded 
rocket.  It  is  a  sight  far  more  beautiful,  though  not  so  grand  or  impres- 
sive as  that  of  Niagara  Falls.  A  heavy  mist  always  arises  from  the 
water  at  the  foot  of  the  falls,  so  dense  that  one  cannot  approach  within 
200  or  300  feet,  and  even  then  the  clothes  will  be  drenched  in  a  few 
moments.  Upon  the  yellow,  nearly  vertical  wall  of  the  west  side,  the 
mist  mostly  falls,  and  for  300  feet  from  the  bottom  the  wall  is  covered 
with  a  thick  matting  of  mosses,  sedges,  grasses,  and  other  vegetation  of 
the  most  vivid  green,  which  have  sent  their  small  roots  into  the  softened 
rocks,  and  are  nourished  by  the  ever-ascending  spray.  At  the  base  and 
quite  high  up  on  the  sides  of  the  caiion,  are  great  quantities  of  talus,  and 
through  the  fragments  of  rocks  and  decomposed  spring  deposits  may 
be  seen  the  horizontal  strata  of  breccia.  (Fig.  24.) 

Before  proceeding  further,  I  might  attempt  to  give  what  appears  to 
me  to  be  the  origin  of  this  wonderful  natural  scenery.  This  entire  basin 
was  once  the  bed  of  a  great  lake,  of  which  the  lofty  range  of  mountains 
now  surrounding  it  formed  the  rim,  and  the  present  lake  is  only  a  rem- 
nant. During  the  period  of  the  greatest  volcanic  activity  this  lake  was 
in  existence,  though  its  limits,  perhaps,  could  not  now  be  easily  defined  ; 
but  it  was  at  a  later  period  inclosed  within  the  rim.  The  basis  rock  is 
a  very  hard,  compact  basalt,  not  easily  worn  away  by  the  elements.  The 
surface  is  exceedingly  irregular,  and  filling  up  these  irregularities  is  a 
greater  or  less  thickness  of  volcanic  breccia  and  the  deposits  of  hot 
springs.  Upon  all  this,  in  some  localities,  continuing  up  to  the  time  of 
the  drain  age  of  this  1  ake,  were  deposited  the  modern  volcanic  clays,  sands. 



sandstones,  and  pudding-stones,  which  reach  an  aggregate  thickness  of 
800  to  1,000  feet.    Above  the  Upper  Falls  the  Yellowstone  flows  over  a 

hard,  basaltic  bed  for 

sixteen  miles  from  its  outlet  at  the  lake  ;  there  is 

then  an  abrupt  transition  from  the  hard  basalt  to  the  more  yielding 
breccia,  so  that  the  river  easily  carved  out  a  channel  through  it ;  the 
vertical  walls  are  clearly  seen  from  below  the  falls,  passing  diagonally 
across  the  rim.  The  Lower  Falls  are  formed  in  the  same  way  ;  the  entire 
mass  of  the  water  falls  into  a  circular  basin,  which  has  been  worn  into 

'    «l 

mr^ '-  *''<W;5  ;:W;  r*;'^  ^^ 


the  hard  rock,  so  that  the  rebound  is  one  of  the  magnificent  fea- 
tures of  the  scene.  Below  the  Lower  Falls  the  sides  of  the  canon  show 
the  material  of  which  it  is  mostly  composed.  Where  the  river  has  cut 
its  channel  through  the  hard  basalt,  the  irregular  fissures,  which  un- 
doubtedly extend  down,  in  some  manner,  toward  the  heated  interior,  are 
distinctly  seen.  Local  deposits  of  silica,  as  white  as  snow,  sometimes 
400  or  500  feet  in  thickness,  are  seen  on  both  sides  of  the  Yellowstone. 
These  also  are  worn  into  columns,  which  stand  out  boldly  from  the  nearly 
vertical  sides  in  a  multiplicity  of  picturesque  forms.    The  basis  material 


of  the  old  laot-spriiig  deposits  is  silica,  origiDally  as  white  as  snow,  but 
very  much  of  it  is  tinged  with  every  possible  shade  of  color,  from  the 
most  brilliant  scarlet  to  pink  or  rose  color,  from  bright  sulphur  to  the 
most  delicate  cream.  There  are  portions  of  the  day  when  these  colors 
seem  to  be  more  vivid,  and  the  rugged  walls  of  the  caiion  stand  out  more 
in  perspective,  so  that  while  the  falls  fill  one  with  delight  and  admiration, 
the  Grand  Oaiion  surpasses  all  the  others  as  the  one  unique  wonder, 
without  a  parallel,  probably,  on  our  continent.  We  may  conclude,  there- 
fore, from  the  i)oiut  of  view  presented  above,  that  while  the  canon  has 
somewhat  the  appearance  of  a  great  cleft  or  canon,  it  is  simply  a  chan- 
nel carved  by  the  river  out  of  predeposited  materials,  after  the 
drainage  of  the  old  lake-basin.  The  walls  themselves,  it  seems  to  me, 
explain  the  manner  in  which  the  connection  was  formed  from  the  surface 
with  the  heated  interior,  for  they  are  seamed  with  the  irregular  fissures 
or  furrows  which  pass  up  through  the  basalt  and  connect  with  the  old 
hot-spring  deposits.  And  so  it  is  with  the  walls  of  the  caiion,  all  the 
way  to  the  mouth  of  Tower  Creek ;  sometimes  we  find  the  irregular  ma- 
son-work of  the  basalt,  then  the  breccia  or  the  curiously  variegated  hot- 
spring  formations,  the  whole  covered  to  a  greater  or  less  extent  with  a 
later  deposit  from  the  waters  of  the  old  lake,  which  now  appears  in 
horizontal  strata. 

As  I  have  previously  stated,  the  entire  Yellowstone  Basin  is  covered 
more  or  less  with  dead  and  dying  springs,  but  there  are  centers  or 
groups  where  the  activity  is  greatest  at  the  present  time.  Below 
the  falls  there  is  an  extensive  area  covered  with  the  deposits  which 
extend  from  the  south  side  of  Mount  Washburn  across  the  Yellow- 
stone rim,  covering  an  area  of  ten  or  fifteen  square  miles.  On  the 
south  side  of  Mount  Washburn,  there  is  quite  a  remarkable  group  of 
active  springs.  They  are  evidently  diminishing  in  power,  but  the 
rims  all  around  reveal  the  most  powerful  manifestations  far  back  in 
the  past.  Sulphur,  cop]ier,  alum,  and  soda  cover  the  surface.  There  is 
also  precipitated  around  the  borders  of  some  of  the  mud  springs  a  white 
efifloresence,  probably  nitrate  of  potash.  These  springs  are  located  on  the 
side  of  the  mountain  nearly  1,000  feet  above  tlie  margin  of  the  canon, 
but  extend  along  into  the  level  portions  below.  In  the  immediate  chan- 
nel of  the  river,  at  the  present  time,  there  are  very  few  springs,  and 
these  not  important.  A  few  small  steam  vents  can  be  observed  only 
from  the  issue  of  small  quantities  of  steam.  One  of  these  springs  was 
bubbling  quite  briskly,  but  had  a  temperature  of  only  100°.  Near  it  is 
a  turbid  spring  of  170°.  In  the  valley  are  a  large  number  of  turbid,  mud, 
and  boiling  springs,  with  temperatures  from  175°  to  185°.  There  are  a 
number  of  springs  that  issue  from  the  side  of  the  mountain,  and  the 
waters,  gathering  into  one  channel,  flow  into  the  Yellowstone.  The  num- 
ber of  frying  or  simmering  springs  is  great.  The  ground  in  many  places, 
for  several  yards  in  every  direction,  is  perforated  like  a  sieve,  and  the 
water  bubbles  by  with  a  simmering  noise.  There  is  one  huge  boiling 
spring  which  is  turbid,  with  fine  black  mud  all  around  the  sides, 
where  this  fine  black  earth  is  deposited.  The  depth  of  the  crater  of 
this  spring,  its  dark,  gloomy  appearance,  and  the  tremendous  force 
which  it  manifested  in  its  operations,  led  us  to  name  it  the  "  Devil's 
Caldrpn."  There  are  a  large  number  of  springs  here,  but  ho  true  gey- 
sers. It  is  plainly  the  last  stages  of  what  was  once  a  most  remarkable 
group.  Extending  across  the  canon  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  Yellow- 
stone, interrupted  here  and  there,  this  group  of  springs  extends  for  sev- 
eral miles,  forming  one  of  the  largest  deposits  of  silica,  but  only  here 
and  there  are  there  signs  of  life.    Many  of  the  dead  springs  are  mere 


basins,  with,  a  thick  deposit  of  iron  on  tlie  siiles,  lining  the  channel  of 
the  water  that  flows  from  them.  These  vary  in  temperature  from  98° 
to  120°.  The  highest  temperature  was  192°.  The  steam-vents  are  very- 
numerous,  and  the  chimneys  are  lined  with  sulphur.  Where  the  crust 
can  be  removed,  we  find  the  under  side  lined  with  the  most  delicate  crys- 
tals of  sulphur,  which  disappear  like  frost-work  at  the  touch.  Still  there 
is  a  considerable  amount  of  solid  amorplioiis  sulpliur.  The  sulphur  and 
the  iron,  with  the  vegetable  matter,  which  is  always  very  abundant 
about  the  springs,  give,  through  the  almost  infinite  variety  of  shades,  a 
most  pleasing  and  striking  picture.  One  of  the  mud  springs,  with  a  basin 
20  by  25  feet  and  6  feet  deep,  is  covered  with  large  bubbles  or  puffs  con- 
stantly bursting  with  a  thud.  There  are  a  number  of  high  hills  in  this 
vicinity  entirely  composed  of  the  hot-spring  deposits,  at  least  nine-tenths 
silica,  appearing  snowy-white  in  the  distance;  one  of  the  walls  is  175  feet 
high,  and  another  about  70  feet.  They  are  now  covered  to  a  greater  or  less 
extent  with  pines.  Steam  is  constantly  issuing  from  vents  around  the  base 
and  from  the  sides  of  these  hills.  There  is  one  lake  100  by  300  yards,  with 
a  number  of  bubbling  and  boding  springs  arising  to  the  surface.  Near 
the  shore  is  one  of  the  sieve-springs,  with  a  great  number  of  small  per- 
forations, from  which  the  water  bubbles  up  with  a  simmering  noise ; 
temperature,  188°.    This  group  really  forms  one  of  the  great  ruins. 

We  will  now  return  to  the  falls,  and  pursue  our  way  up  the  valley  of 
the  Yellowstone  to  the  lake.  We  wound  our  way  among  the  dense 
pines  that  clothe  the  foot-hills,  and,  striking  a  game-trail,  succeeded  in 
avoiding  the  marshy  bottoms  of  the  river.  Great  nujubers  of  small 
springs  seem  to  flow  out  of  the  sides  of  the  hills,  and  distribute  them- 
selves over  the  bottom,  finally  draining  into  the  river.  The  deep  snows 
which  fall  on  the  mountains,  and  continue  the  greater  portion  of  the 
year,  melt  so  gradually  that  these  springs  have  a  constant  supply,  aiid 
during  the  summer  the  grass  and  flowers  give  to  the  lowlands  a  meadow- 
like appearance  by  the  freshness  and  vividness  of  the  colors.  The  river, 
by  its  width,  its  beautiful  curves,  and  easy  flow,  moves  on  down  toward 
its  wonderful  precipices  with  a  majestic  motion  that  would  charm  the  eye 
of  an  artist.  Some  of  the  little  streams  which  we  crossed  on  our  way 
up  the  river  were  full  of  fresh-water  shells.  Wherever  the  water  stands 
for  a  time,  the  surface  is  covered  with  a  yellow  scum  from  the  presence  of 
iron.  About  five  miles  above  the  fails,  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  we 
crossed  a  small  stream  which  held  a  large  amount  of  alum  in  solution, 
and  on  this  account  was  appropriately  named  Alum  Creek.  This  little 
stream  is  2  feet  wide  and  2  inches  deep,  as  clear  as  crystal,  and,  as  it  flows 
along  through  the  rich  grass,  it  would  not  be  noticed  by  the  traveler  that 
it  differed  from  any  other  stream,  except  by  the  taste.  Ever  since  descend 
ing  into  the  basin  we  have  met  with  great  quantities  of  a  kind  of  obsidian. 
It  seldom  occurs  in  a  compact,  amorphous,  crystalline  mass,  like  opaque 
glass,  but  as  an  aggregate  of  small  amorphous  masses,  easily  disinte- . 
grating,  so  that  the  surface  is  covered  with  the  small  obsidian  pebbles. 
The  color  is  black  or  dull  purplish-black.  There  are  exposures  here  and 
there  of  the  basalt  also;  some  of  it  contains  great  quantities  of  rounded 
masses,  like  concretions,  from  the  size  of  a  pea  to  10  inches  in  diameter; 
they  seem  to  be  little  geodes,  found  in  the  igneous  mass,  lined  inside 
with  crystals  of  quartz.  These  masses  are  sometimes  called  "volcanic 
walnuts  "  by  travelers. 

About  ten  miles  above  the  falls,  on  the  east  side  of  the  Yellow- 
stone, we  came  to  a  most  interesting  group  of  hot  springs,  named, 
in  Lieutenant  Doaue's  report,  the  "  Seven  Hills."  The  chart  which 
accompanies  this  report  will  show  the  location  of  the  hills  and  the 



springs  in  relation  to  them.  (Fig.  25.)  The  little  stream  on  the  east  side  is 
one  of  the  sources  of  Alum  Creek,  and  the  springs  that  border  show  the 
origin  of  the  alum  that  is  held  in  solution  in  the  waters,  which  hold  their 
full  strength  until  they  flow  into  the  Yellowstone.    We  approached  this 

Fig.  25. 

*  ■» 









group  of  springs  on  the  west  side,  and  the  first  spring  that  attracted  our 
attention  was  located  at  the  base  of  one  of  the  white  hills.  It  was  a  pow- 
erful steaui-vent,  with  the  strong,  impulsive  noise  like  a  high-pressure 


engine,  and  hence  its  name  of  Locomotive  Jet.  The  aperture  is  about 
6  inches  in  diameter,  a  sort  of  raised  chimney,  and  all  around  it  were 
numerous  small  continuous  steam-vents,  all  of  which  were  elegantly 
lined  with  the  bright-yellow  sulphur.  The  entire  surface  was  covered 
with  the  white  siliceous  crust,  which  gives  forth  a  hollow  sound  beneath 
the  tread;  and  we  took  pleasure  in  breaking  it  up  in  the  vicinity  of  the 
vents,  and  exposing  the  wonderful  beauty  of  the  sulphur-coating  on  the 
inner  sides.  This  crust  is  ever  hot,  and  yet  so  firm  that  we  could  walk 
over  it  anywhere.  On  the  south  side  of  these  hills,  close  to  the  foot,  is 
a  magnificent  sulphur-spring.  The  deposits  around  it  are  silica;  but 
some  places  are  white,  and  enameled  like  the  finest  porcelain.  The  thin 
edges  of  the  nearly  circular  rim  extend  over  the  waters  of  the  basin 
several  feet,  yet  the  open  portion  is  15  feet  in  diameter.  The  water  is  in 
a  constant  state  of  agitation.  The  steam  that  issues  from  this  spring  is  so 
strong  and  hot  that  it  was  only  on  the  windward  side  that  I  could  ap- 
proach it  and  ascertain  its  temperature,  197°.  The  agitation  seemed  to 
affect  the  entire  mass,  carrying  it  up  impulsively  to  the  height  of  4  feet. 
It  may  be  couipared  to  a  huge  caldron  of  perfectly  clear  water  some- 
what superheated.  But  it  is  the  decorations  about  this  spring  that  lent 
the  charm,  after  our  astonishment  at  the  seething  mass  before  us — the 
most  beautiful  scolloping  around  the  rim,  and  the  inner  and  outer  sur- 
face covered  with  a  sort  of  pearl-like  bead  work.  The  base  is  the  pure 
white  silica,  while  the  sulphur  gave  every  possible  shade,  from  yellow  to 
the  most  delicate  cream.  No  kind  of  embroidering  that  human  art  can 
conceive  or  fashion  could  equal  this  specimen  of  the  cunmng  skill  of  na- 
ture. On  the  northeast  side  of  the  hills,  extending  from  their  summits, 
are  large  numbers  of  the  steam-vents,  with  the  sulphur  linings  and  de- 
posits of  the  sulphur  over  the  surface.  These  hills  are  entirely  due  to 
the  old  hot  springs,  and  are  from  50  to  150  feet  in  height.  The  rock 
is  mostly  compact  silica,  but  there  is  almost  every  degree  of  purity,  from 
a  kind  of  basalt  to  the  snow-white  silica.  Some  of  it  is  a  real  conglom- 
erate, with  a  fine  siliceous  cement  inclosing  pebbles  of  white  silica,  like 
those  seen  around  the  craters  of  some  geysers.  Although  at  the  pres- 
ent time  there  are  no  true  geysers  in  this  group,  the  evidence  is  clear 
that  these  were,  in  former  times,  very  powerful  ones,  that  have  built  up 
mountains  of  silica  by  their  overflow.  The  steam-vents  on  the  side  and 
at  the  foot  of  these  hills  represent  the  dying  stages  of  this  once  most 
active  group.  Quite  a  dense  growth  of  pines  now  covers  these  hills. 
They  rise  up  in  the  midst  of  the  plains,  and  from  their  peculiar  white 
appearance  are  conspicuous  for  a  great  distance.  At  one  point  there  is 
a  steam-vent  so  hot  that  it  is  difficult  to  approach  it,  emitting  a  strong 
sulphurous  smell,  and  within  two  feet  of  it  there  is  a  larger  spring,  boil- 
ing like  a  caldron.  So  far  as  I  can  determine,  there  is  no  underground 
connection  of  any  of  the  springs  with  each  other.  Sometimes  the  rims 
of  these  craters,  as  well  as  the  inner  sides  of  their  basins,  have  a 
beautiful  papulose  surface,  the  silica  just  covered  with  a  thin  veil  of 
delicate  creamy  sulphur.  At  this  locality  are  some  very  remarkable 
turbid  and  mud  springs,  on  the  south  portion  of  this  singular  group, 
as  can  be  seen  by  reference  to  the  chart.  One  of  them  has  a  basin  20 
feet  in  diameter,  nearly  circular  in  form,  and  the  contents  have  almost 
the  consistency  of  thick  hasty-pudding.  The  surface  is  covered  all  over 
with  puffs  of  mud,  which,  as,  they  burst,  give  off  a.tliud-like  noise,  and 
then  the  fine  mud  recedes  from  the  center  of  the  puffs  in  the  most  per- 
fect rings  to  the  side.  This  mud-pot  presents  this  beautiful  picture ; 
and  although  there  are  hundreds  of  them,  yet  it  is  very  rare  that  the 
mud  is  just  in  the  condition  to  admit  of  these  peculiar  rings.    The  kind 



of  thud  is,  of  course,  produced  by  the  escape  of  the  sulphureted  hydro- 
gen gas  through  the  mud.  Indeed,  there  is  no  comparison  that  can 
bring  before  the  mind  a  clearer  picture  of  such  a  mud  volcano  than  a 
huge  caldron  of  thick  mush.  The  mud  is  so  tine  as  to  have  no  visible 
or  sensible  grain,  and  is  very  strongly  impregnated  with  alum.  For 
three  hundred  yards  in  length  and  twenty-five  yards  in  width,  the  val- 
ley of  this  little  branch  of  Alum  Creek  is  perforated  with  these  mud- 
vents  of  all  sizes,  and  the  contents  are  of  all  degrees  of  consistency,  from 
merely  turbid  water  to  a  thick  mortar.  The  entire  surface  is  perfectly 
bare  of  vegetation  and  hot,  yielding  in  many  places  to  a  slight  pressure. 
I  attempted  to  walk  about  among  these  simmering  vents,  and  broke 
through  to  my  knees,  covering  myself  with  the  hot  mud,  to  my  great 
pain  and  subsequent  inconvenience.  One  of  the  largest  of  the  turbid 
springs  has  a  basin  with  a  nearly  circular  rim  20  feet  from  the  margin 
to  the  water,  and  40  feet  in  diameter.    There  are  two   or  three  cen- 

Fig.  26 . 


'6^^j    iL_1.-4=^ 




ters  of  ebullition ;  temperature,  188°.    We  may  say,  in  conclusion,  in  re- 
gard to  this  group,  that  while  there  is  a  great  deal  of  activity  in  the 



springs  at  the  present  time,  the  remains  of  the  dead  springs  cover  the 
greater  portion  of  the  surface,  and  those  which  are  more  active  present 
the  evidence  of  far  greater  power  in  past  times. 

From  this  point  we  proceeded  to  the  sulphur  and  mud  springs  near 
the  banks  of  the  Yellowstone,  about  two  miles  above,  in  a  straight  line. 
In  the  interval  we  passed  the  remains  of  many  old  springs,  but  none 
above  the  ordinary  temperature ;  but  the  deposit  seemed  to  cover  the 
surface  more  or  less.  The  old  lake  deposit  is  also  quite  well  shown  in 
the  rather  high,  step-like  hills  which  extend  back  for  five  miles  from 
the  river  to  the  basaltic  rim  of  the  great  basin.  We  pitched  our  camp 
on  the  shore  of  the  river,  near  the  Mud  Springs,  thirteen  and  a  half 
miles  above  our  camp,  on  Cascade  Creek.  The  springs  are  scattered 
along  on  both  sides  of  the  river,  sometimes  extending  upon  the  hill-sides 
50  to  200  feet  above  the  level  of  the  river.  The  chart  will  show  the  lo- 
cation of  the  principal  ones.  (Fig.  26.)  Commencing  with  the  lower  or 
southern  side  of  the  group,  I  will  attempt  to  describe  a  few  of  them.    The 

Fig.   27. 


first  one  is  a  remarkable  mud-  spring,  with  a  well-defined  circular  rim,  com- 
posed of  fine  clay,  and  raised  about  4  feet  above  the  surface  around,  and 
about  6  feet  above  the  mud  in  the  basin.  The  diameter  of  the  basin  is 
about  8  feet.  The  mud  is  so  fine  as  to  be  impalpable,  and  the  whole  may 
be  most  aptly  compared  to  a  caldron  of  boiling  mush.  The  gas  is  con- 
stantly escaping,  throwing  up  the  mud  from  a  few^  inches  to  6  feet*  in 
height;  and  there  is  no  doubt  that  there  are  times  when  it  is  hurled 
out  10  to  20  feet,  accumulating  around  the  rim  of  the  basin.  (Fig.  27.) 
About  twenty  yards  distant  from  the  mud-spring  just  described,  is  a  sec- 
ond one,  with  a  basin  nearly  circular,  40  feet  in  diameter,  the  water  6  or 
8  feet  below  the  margin  of  the  rim.  The  water  is  quite  turbid,  and  is 
boiling  moderately.  Small  springs  are  flowing  into  it  from  the  south 
side,  so  that  the  basin  forms  a  sort  of  reservoir.  The  temperature,  in 
some  portions  of  the  basin,  is  thus  lowered  to  98°.  Several  small  hot 
springs  pour  their  surplus  water  into  it,  the  temperatures  of  which  are 
180°,  170°,  184°,  and  155°.    In  the  reservoirs,  where  the  water  boils  up 



with  considerable  force,  the  temperature  is  only  96°,  showing  that  the 
bubbling  was  due  to  the  escape  of  gas.  The  bubbles  stand  all  over  the 
surface.  About  20  feet  from  the  last,  is  a  small  mud-spring,  with  an 
orifice  10  inches  in  diameter,  with  whitish-brown  mud,  182°.  Another 
basin  near  the  last  has  two  orifices,  the  one  throwing  out  the  mud  with 
a  dull  thud  about  once  in  three  seconds,  spurting  the  mud  out  3  or  4 
feet ;  the  other  is  content  to  boil  up  quite  violently,  occasionally  throw- 
ing the  mud  10  to  12  inches.  This  mud,  which  has  been  wrought  in 
these  caldrons  for  perhaps  hundreds  of  years,  is  so  fine  and  pure  that 
the  manufacturer  of  porcelain- ware  would  go  into  ecstacy  at  the  sight. 
The  contents  of  many  of  the  springs  are  of  such  a  snowy  whiteness  that, 
when  dried  in  cakes  in  the  sun  or  by  a  fire,  they  resemble  the  finest 
meerschaum.  The  color  of  the  mud  depends  upon  the  superficial  de- 
posits which  cover  the  ground,  through  which  the  waters  of  the  springs 
reach  the  surface.  They  were  all  clear  hot  springs  originally,  perhaps 
geysers  even ;  but  the  continual  caving  in  of  the  sides  has  produced  a 
sort  of  mud-pot,  exactly  the  same  as  the  process  of  preparing  a  kettle 
of  mush.  The  water  is  at  first  clear  and  hot;  then  it  becomes  turbid 
from  the  mingling  of  the  loose  earth  around  the  sides  of  the  orifice, 
until,  by  continued  accessions  of  earth,  the  contents  of  the  basin  become 
of  the  consistency  of  thick  mush,  and,  as  the  gas  bursts  up  through  it, 
the  dull,  thud-like  noise  is  produced.  Every  possible  variation  of  con- 
dition of  the  contents  is  found,  from  simple  milky  turbidness  to  a  stiff 
mortar.  On  the  east  side  of  the  Yellowstone,  close  to  the  margin  of  the 
river,  are  a  few  turbid  and  mud  springs,  strong! j^  impregnated  with  alum. 
The  mud  is  quite  yellow,  and  contains  much  sulphur.  This  we  called  a 
mud-sulphur  spriug.  The  basin  is  15  by  30  feet,  and  has  three  centers 
of  ebullition,  showing  that  deep  down  underneath  the  superficial  earth, 
there  are  three  separate  orifices,  not  connected  with  each  other,  for  the 
emission  of  the  heated  waters.  Just  opposite  this  spring,  on  the  west 
side  of  the  river,  is  a  singular  vertical  wall  of  rather  Coarse  basalt,  which 
looks  like  huge  mason-work,  separated  by  the  jointage  into  nearly  rec- 
tangular blocks.     The  wall  is  about  50  feet  high,  and  is  important  in 

giving  us  an  exposure  of  the  basis  rock 
of  this  region.  The  surface  is  mostly 
covered  with  a  thick  deposit  of  clay  of 
modern  origin ;  but  the  heated  waters 
must  pass  a  great  distance  through 
these  igneous  rocks,  dissolving  .from 
them  great  quantities  of  silica  and 
other  chemical  materials  which  we  find 
so  abundantly  around  the  springs. 
The  next  interesting  spriug  we  called 
the  Grotto.  (Fig.  28.)  A  vast  column 
of  steam  issues  froui  a  cavern  in  the 
side  of  the  hill,  with  an  oiJeuing  about 
5  feet  in  diameter.  The  roaring  of 
the  waters  in  the  cavern,  and  the  noise 
of  the  waves  as  they  surge  up  to  the 
mouth  of  the  opening,  are  like  that 
of  the  billows  lashing  the  sea-shore. 
The  water  is  as  clear  as  crystal,  and 
the  steam  is  so  hot  that  it  is  only  when  a  breeze  wafts  it  aside  for  a 
moment  one  can  venture  tp  take  a  look  into  the  opening.  From  the 
tremendous  roaring  and  dashing  of  the  waters  against  the  sides  of  the 
cavern,  one   would  suppose  that  the  amount  must  be  great,  but  not 

Fig,    28, 




more  than  ten  gallons  an  hour  pass  out  of  it  in  the  little  channel  that 
leads  from  it.  On  either  side  of  the  cavern,  where  the  steam  strikes, 
there  is  a  tliin  coating  of  vegetation  of  a  deej),  vivid  green.  In  the 
vicinity  of  these  springs,  various  kinds  of  grasses,  rushes,  mosses,  and 
other  ijlants  grow  with  a  surprising  luxuriance.  Over  the  "grotto" 
there  is  a  thickness  of  about  30  feet  of  stratified  clay,  with  a  fine  texture. 
Located  higher  up  on  the  side  of  the  hill,  not  far  from  the  grotto,  is  the 
most  remarkable  mud-spring  we  have  ever  seen  in  the  West.  The  rim 
of  the  basin  is  formed  by  the  loose  mud  or  claj^thown  out  of  the  orifice. 
It  is  about  40  feet  in  diameter  at  the  top,  but  tapering  down  to  half  the 



size,  and  is  about  30  feet  deep.  It 
may  not  in) properly  be  called  the 
Giant's  Caldron.  (Fig.  29.)  It  does 
not  boil  with  an  impulse  like  most  of 
the  mud-springs,  but  with  a  con- 
stant roar  which  shakes  the  ground 
for  a  considerable  distance,  and  may 
be  heard  for  half  a  mile.  A  dense 
column  of  steam  is  ever  rising,  fill- 
ing the  crater,  but  now  and  then  a 
passing  breeze  will  remove  it  for  a 
moment,  revealing  one  of  the  most 
terrific  sights  one  could  well  imagine. 
The  contents  are  composed  of  thin 
mud  in  a  continual  state  of  the  most 
violent  agitation,  like  an  immense 
caldron  of  mush  submitted  to  a  con- 
stant, uniform,  but  most  intense  heat. 
That  it  must  have  had  its  spasms  of 
ejection  is  plain  from  the  mud  on  the  trees  for  a  radius  of  a  hundred 
feet  or  more  in  every  direction  from  the  crater,  and  it  would  seem  that 
the  mud  might  have  been  thrown  up  to  the  height  of  75  or  100  feet. 
This  ejection  of  the  mud  must  have  occurred  within  a  year  or  two,  from 
the  fact  that  small  pines  near  the  crater  are  still  green,  though  co^^ered 
with  mud.  Small  pines  4  inches  in  diameter  and  20  to  30  feet  in  height 
have  been  permitted  to  grow  within  10  and  20  feet  of  the  rim,  and, 
therefore,  the  throwing  of  the  mud  to  any  distance  from  the  crater  must 
occur  very  seldom.  A  few  of  the  trees  near  the  crater,  which  were 
covered  with  the  mud,  were  killed  by  the  heat,  but  others  that  are  lit- 
erally festooned  with  it,  have  only  the  small  branches  and  leaves  de- 
stroyed. All  the  indications  around  this  most  remarkable  caldron 
show  that  it  has  broken  out  at  a  recent  period  ;  that  the  caving  in  of 
the  sides  so  choked  up  the  orifice  that  it  relieved  itself,  hurling  the 
muddy  contents  over  the  living  pines  in  the  vicinity.  The  steam  which 
arises  from  this  caldron  may  be  seen  for  many  miles  in  every  direction. 
There  are  a  large  number  of  springs  all  around,  some  boiling  and  others 
quiet,  some  of  which  are  of  great  size  and  quite  worthy  of  attention, 
but  we  will  describe  only  one  more  in  this  group.  At  the  south  side 
there  is  a  large  basin,  200  by  300  feet,  containing  within  the  rim  three 
boiling  springs.  The  two  smaller  ones  on  the  south  side  of  the  rim 
are  separated  from  each  other  by  a  partition  of  about  4  feet,  and 
are  mud-springs,  and  boil  up  in  the  centers  at  this  time  6  or  8  inches. 
Their  basins  are  10  and  20  feet  in  diameter.  The  third  basin  is  the 
largest,  with  a  rim  30  by  50  feet,  and  is  a  true  geyser ;  when  not  in  oper- 
ation, the  fine  mud  settles  to  the  bottom  and  the  water  becomes  clear. 
This  is  constantly  but  moderately  agitated,  not  sufficiently  to  stir  up  the 



mud  at  the  bottom.    A  cliannel  has  been  formed  8  feet  deep  through 
the  fine  clay,  which  carries  the  surplus  water  from  the  crater  to  the  river. 

This  is  a  true  intermittent  spring.     July  28  and  29  it  played  several 
times,  throwing  the  water  to  theheigbt'of  20  to  30  feet.  (Fig.  30.)  The 


impression amongtlie  mountaiu-men  was,  tliattliis  is  a  periodic  spring,  and 
played  once  in  six  hours  precisely.  In  order  to  test  this  belief,  I  directed 
my  assistant,  Mr.  Campbell  Carrington,  with  one  non-commissioned  offi- 
ceV  of  the  escort,  to  return  from  our  camp  on  the  lake,  and  note  minuteley 
the  movements  of  this  spring  for  twenty  four  hours  in  succession.  The 
following  interesting  report  was  made  by  Mr.  Carrington  : 

"  We  arrived  at  the  mud-geysers  ten  minutes  after  9  o'clock  a.  m., 
July  1.  The  pool  was  calm,  with  the  exception  of  the  little  boiling  bub- 
bles that  are  always  on  its  sur- 
face. In  circumference  it 
measures  nearly  100  feet. 
While  selecting  a  place  to 
camp,  unsaddling  our  horses, 
&c.,  we  heard  a  loud,  hissing 
noise,  as  an  escape  of  steam. 
Hurrying  to  the  geyser,  I  saw 
a  wave  about  three  feet  in 
height  rise  and  die  away  to  the 
left  5  three  similar  on^  fol- 
lowed in  quick  succession.  It 
then,  with  a  dull,  heavy  sound, 
accompanied  by  dense  col- 
umns of  steam,  suddenly  burst 
up  to  the  height  of  20  feet.  It 
continued  in  action  for  the 
space  of  fifteen  minutes,  when 
it  ceased  flowing  as  suddenly 
as  it  had  commenced.  The  av- 
erage height  of  this  flowing  was 
about  15  feet,  although  some 
jets  reached  fully  30.  Five 
minutes  after  the  eruption,  the 
l)ool  measured  25  feet  in  cir- 
cumference and  3  in  depth, 
where  before  it  was  100  feet  in 
circumference  and  11  in  depth. 
Ten  minutes  after  (at  9.45  a. 
m.)  I  noticed  that  it  was  slowly 
commencing  to  rise  again.  It 
continued  to  do  so  until  twen- 
ty minutes  after  one,  (1.20  p. 
m.,)  when  it  began  to  boil  near 
the  center,  a  black  formation 
making  a  ring  around  the  boil- 
ing part.  This  boiling  gradu- 
ally increased  in  violence,  last- 
ing twenty  minutes;  it  then  suddenly  stopped,  and  a  wave  2  or  3  feet 
in  height  arose,  dying  away  to  the  left,  and  the  flov\'ing  then  took  place 
as  before  described.  Average  height  of  this  flowing,  15  feet :  duration, 
20  minutes. 

"This  rising,  falling,  and  overflowing  took  place  eight  times  in  twenty- 
four  hours,  the  circumstances  connected  with  each  one  being  almost 
exactly  the  same.  Appended  below  is  a  table  of  the  time  and  length  of 
flowings : 

'■^  Time  of  fioivings. 

"Arrived  at  9.10  a.  ra. 

"  First  flowing,  9.20  a.  m.  to  9.35  a.  m. ;  length,  15  minutes. 



"  Second  flowing,  1.30  p.  m.  to  1.50  p.  m. ;  length,  20  minutes. 

"  Third  flowing,  5  p.  m.  to  5.15  p.  ni. ;  length,  15  minutes. 

"  Fourth  flowing,  8.30  p.  m.  to  8.50  p.  m. ;  length,  20  minutes. 

"  Fifth  flowing,  12.30  p.  m.  to  12.45  p.  m. ;  length,  15  minutes. 

"  Sixth  flowing,  4  a.  ra.  to  4.15  a.  m. ;  length,  15  minutes. 

"  Seventh  flowing,  7.30  a.  m.  to  7.45  a.  m. ;  length,  15  minutes. 

"Eighth  flowing,  11  a.  m.  to  11.10  a.  m. ;  length,  10  minutes. 

"  Total  length  of  time,  26  hours.  Aggregate  time  of  flowings,  3  hours 
and  15  minutes.  Average  length  of  flowings,  15  minutes  and  37J 

On  the  28th  of  July  we  arrived  at  the  lake,  and  pitched  our  camp  on 
the  northwest  shore,  in  a  beautiful  grassy  meadow  or  opening  among 
the  dense  pines.  The  lake  lay  before  us,  a  vast  sheet  of  quiet  water,  of  a 
most  delicate  ultramarine  hue,  one  of  the  most  beautiful  scenes  I  have 
ever  beheld.  (Fig.  31.)  The  entire  party  were  filled  with  enthusiasm.  The 
great  object  of  all  our  labors  had  been  reached,  and  we  were  amply  paid 
for  all  our  toils.  Such  a  vision  is  worth  a  lifetime,  and  only  one  of  such 
marvelous  beauty  will  ever  greet  human  eyes.  From  whatever  point  of 
view  one  may  behold  it,  it  presents  a  unique  picttire.  We  had  brought  up 
the  frame- work  of  a  boat  12  feet  long  and  3^  feet  wide,  which  we  covered 
with  stout  ducking,  well  tarred.  On  the  morning  of  the  29th,  Messrs. 
Stevenson  and  Elliott  started  across  the  lake  in  the  Anna,  the  first 
boat  ever  launched  on  the  Yellowstone,  and  explored  the  nearest  island, 
which  we  named  after  the  principal  assistant  of  the  expedition,  who  was 
undoubtedly  the  first  white  man  that  ever  placed  foot  upon  it. 

Our  little  bark,  which  is  well  shown  in  figure  32,  whose  keel  was  the 
first  to  plow  the  waters  of  the  most  beautiful  lake  on  our  continent, 


and  which  must  now  become 
historical,  was  n^med  by  Mr. 
Stevenson  in  compliment  to 
Miss  Anna  L.  Dawes,  the 
amiable  daughter  of  Hon.  H. 
L.  Dawes.  My  whole  party 
were  glad  to  manifest,  by  this 
slight  tribute,  their  gratitude 
to  the  distinguished  states- 
man, whose  generous  sympa- 
thy and  aid  had  contributed 
so  much  toward  securing  the 
appropriation  which  enabled 
them  to  explore  this  marvel- 
ous region. 

Usually  in  the  morning  the 
surface  of  the  lake  is  calm,  but 
toward  noon  and   after,  the 
waves  commence  to  roll,  and 
THE  *'anna."  thewhite  caps  rise  high,  some- 

times four  or  five  feet.  Our  little  boat  rode  the  weaves  well ;  but  when 
a  strong  bre'eze  blew,  the  swell  was  too  great,  and  we  could  only  venture 
along  the  shore.  This  lake  is  about  twenty-two  miles  in  length  from 
north  to  south,  and  an  average  of  ten  to  fifteen  miles  in  width  from  east 
to  west.  It  has  been  aptly  compared  to  the  human  hand ;  the  northern 
portion  would  constitute  the  palm,  while  the  southern  .prolongations  or 
arms  might  represent  the  fingers.  The  map  itself,  which  shows  all  the 
soundings,  will  best  convey  to  the  eye  of  the  reader  its  peculiar  form. 
There  are  some  of  the  most  beautiful  shore-lines  along  this  lake  that  I 


ever  saw.  Some  of  the  curves  are  as  perfect  as  if  drawn  by  the  hand 
of  art.  Our  little  boat  performed  most  excellent  service.  A  suitable 
frame- work  was  fastened  in  the  stern  for  the  lead  and  line,  and  with  the 
boat,  a  system  of  soundings  was  made  that  gave  a  very  fair  idea  of  the 
average  depth  of  the  lake.  The  greatest  depth  discovered  was  300  feet. 
It  is  fed  by  the  snows  that  fall  upon  the  lofty  ranges  of  mountains  that 
surround  it  on  every  side.  The  water  of  the  lake  has  at  all  seasons 
nearly  the  temperature  of  cold  spring-water.  The  most  accomplished 
swimmer  could  live  but  a  short  time  in  it;  the  dangers  attending 
the  navigation  of  such  a  lake  in  a  small  boat,  are  thereby  greatly  in- 
creased. The  amount  of  vegetable  matter  in  the  lake  is  enormous.  At 
certain  seasons  of  the  year,  the  waves  throw  upon  the  shore  a  windrow 
of  drifted  vegetation.  Frequently,  after  a  strong  wind,  the  water  of  the 
entire  border  of  the  lake  for  several  yards  from  the  shore  will  be  filled 
with  minute  fragments  of  vegetation  broken  by  the  waves,  rendering 
the  water  quite  impure.  Several  species  of  plants  grow  far  out  into  the 
deep  waters,  and  I  have  seen  them  growing  thickly  on  the  rocks  at  the 
bottom  10  to  20  feet  in  depth.  We  were  able  to  discover  but  one  species 
of  fish  in  the  lake,  and  that  was  trout,  weighing  from  two  to  four 
pounds  each.  Most  of  them  are  infested  with  a  peculiar  intestinal  worm, 
which  has  been  described  by  Dr.  Leidy,  in  a  subsequent  portion  of  this 
report,  as  a  new  species,  under  the  name  of  Bihoiliriwn  cordiceps. 
I  directed  Mr.  Campbell  Carrington,  naturalist  to  the  expedition,  to  pre- 
pare the  following  notes  on  this  subject : 

The  Trout  of  Yellowstone  Lake. — "Although  I  searched  with 
diligence  and  care  in  the  neighboring  streams  and  waters  around  the 
Yellowstone  Lake,  1  was  unable  to  find  any  other  species  of  fish  except 
the  salmon-trout;  their  numbers  are  almost  inconceivable;  average 
weight,  one  pound  and  a  half;  color,  a  light-gray  above,  passing  into  a 
light-yellow  below ;  the  fins,  all  except  the  dorsal  and  caudal,  vary  from 
a  bright- yellow  to  a  brilliant  orange,  they  being  a  dark-gray  and  heavily 
spotted.  A  curious  fact,  and  one  well  worthy  of  the  closest  attention 
of  an  aspiring  icthyologist,  is  connected  with  these  fish,  namely,  that 
among  their  intestines,  and  even  interlaced  in  their  solid  flesh,  are 
found  intestinal  worms,  varying  in  size,  length,  and  thickness,  the 
largest  measuring  about  six  inches  in  length.  On  cutting  one  of  these 
trout  open,  the  first  thing  that  attracts  your  attention,  are  small  oleagin- 
ous-looking spots  clinging  to  the  intestines,  which,  on  being  pressed^ 
between  the  fingers,  break  and  change  into  one  of  these  worms,  small, 
it  is  true,  but  nevertheless  perfect  in  its  formation.  From  five  or  six 
up  to  forty  or  fifty  will  be  found  in  a  trout,  varying,  as  I  said  before,  in 
size,  the  larger  ones  being  found  in  the  solid  flesh,  through  which  they 
work  their  way,  and  which,  in  a  very  short  while,  becomes  almost  pu- 
trid. Their  number  can  generally  be  estimated  from  the  appearance  ot 
the  fish  itself;  if  many,  the  trout  is  extremely  poor  in  flesh,  th^  color 
changes  from  the  healthy  gray  to  a  dull  pale,  it  swims  lazily  near  the 
top  of  the  water,  losing  all  its  shyness  and  fear  of  man ;  it  becomes 
almost  savage  in  its  appetite,  biting  voraciously  at  anything  thrown  in 
the  water,  and  its  flesh  becomes  soft  and  yielding.  If,  on  the  other 
hand,  there  are  few  or  none,  the  flesh  of  the  fish  is  plump  and  solid, 
and  he  is  quick  and  sprightly  in  all  his  motions.  I  noticed  that  it  was 
almost  invariably  the  case  when  a  trout  had  several  scars  on  the  out- 
side of  his  body  that  it  was  free  from  these  worms,  and  I  therefore  took 
it  for  granted  that  the  worms  finally  worked  their  way  through  the 
body,  and  the  flesh,  on  healing  up,  leaves  the  scars  on  the  outside ;  the 
trout,  in  a  short  while,  becomes  plump  and  healthy  again.  The  jonly 
7  a  s 


way  that  I  can  account  for  the  appearance  of  these  worms  is,  that  the 
fish  swallows  certain  bugs  or  insects,  and  that  the  larvse  formed  from 
them  gradually  develop  into  the  full-grown  intestinal  worm.  But  even 
if  this  explanation  of  their  appearance  was  received,  does  it  not  seem  a 
little  strange  that  while  all  the  fish  above  the  Upper  Falls  are  more  or 
less  affected  by  them,  that  below  and  even  between  the  Upper  and 
Lower  Falls  such  a  thing  as  wormy  trout  is  never  heard  of.  Being 
unable,  with  my  limited  knowledge  of  ichthyology,  to  arrive  at  any 
definite  conclusion  in  regard  to  their  appearance,  I  submit  the  above 
facts  to  those  who  are  more  learned  than  myself  in  this  most  interesting 
branch  of  natural  history." 

I  will  not,  in  this  place,  present  a  detailed  description  of  this  wonder- 
ful lake,  but  simply  notice  it  in  general  terms.  As  we  proceed  from 
point  to  point  around  its  borders,  its  most  prominent  features  will  be 
described.  We  regard  the  lake-basin  as  due  in  iDart  to  erosion.  All 
along  its  margin  are  high  banks  and  terraces,  composed  of  a  modern 
stratified  deposit,  passing  up  into  an  aggregation  of  sand,  pebbles,  &c., 
which  is  not  unfrequently  cemented  into  a  tolerably  firm  conglomerate. 
These  deposits,  which  are  made  np  of  eroded  volcanic  rocks,  have  in 
some  instances  the  white  appearance  and  somewhat  the  composition  of 
Pliocene  clays,  marls,  and  sands  of  the  other  lake-basins  along  the  Mis- 
souri and  the  Lower  Yellowstone.  In  the  northern  portion  of  the  basin, 
these  deposits  reach  a  thickness  of  300  to  600  feet,  and  must  l^e  of  the 
later  Pliocene  era  and  even  extending  down  to  the  present  time.  The  two 
lakes  were  then  connected,  although  probably  never  completely  united. 
The  belt  of  mountains  that  separated  them  was  about  four  miles  in 
width.  I  have  estimated  that,  since  the  period  of  volcanic  activity,  the 
depth  of  the  lake  has  been  about  500  feet  greater  than  at  present,  the 
shore-lines  being  then  high  upon  the  side  of  the  surrounding  moun- 
tains. During  the  time  of  the  greatest  volcanic  action,  the  waters 
must  have  covered  the  loftiest  peaks ;  for  many  of  them  are  composed 
of  the  breccia  or  conglomerate  in  a  regularly  stratified  condition.  This 
breccia  surrounds  the  highest  volcanic  cones  or  nuclei,  as  Mounts 
Doane,  Stevenson,  &c.  The  area  occupied  by  the  lake  is  now  gradu- 
ally but  very  slowly  diminishing.  Our  course  aYound  the  lake  was 
along  the  west  side,  from  the  outlet  of  the  Yellowstone.  Our  i)urpose 
was  to  make  a  careful  topographical  and  geological  survey  of  the  shore-, 
line,  to  note  every  bay  or  indentation,  and  every  little  stream  that 
poured  its  waters  from  the  surrounding  mountains.  Messrs.  Elliott 
and  Carrington  made  a  careful  topographical  and  pictorial  chart  of  the 
shore-lines  as  well  as  the  islands  from  our  boat,  so  that  it  is  hardly 
possible  for  the  work  to  have  been  made  more  complete.  The  imme- 
diate lake  shores  are  paved  with  the  volcanic  rocks  which  form  the  rim 
that  surrounds  it.  Fragments  of  obsidian  prevail,  but  there  are  great 
quantities  of  the  breccia  and  trachyte  also.  The  immediate  rim  of  the 
basin  on  the  west  side  is  marked  by  a  peculiar  series  of  step-like 
ridges,  which  are  not  continuous  for  long  distances,  but  appear  to  be 
the  result  of  slides.  The  surface  waters  from  the  snows  have  doubt- 
less gradually  undermined  vast  portions  of  the  mountain  sides,  and 
they  have  fallen  down  at  different  levels,  leaving  between  the  detached 
mass  and  the  parent  mountain  a  depressed  interval  of  greater  or  less 
width,  in  which  there  is  a  meadow-marsh  or  small  lake.  These  steps 
or  terraces  are  covered  with  a  dense  growth  of  pines ;  and  even  on 
the  sides  of  the  mountains,  which  are  so  steep  that  it  was  impossi- 
ble to  ascend  them  with  our  animals,  small  groups  of  pines  cling 
to   the  thin  soil.     On  account  of  the  almost  vertical  sides  of  this 




mountain,  and  the  rounded  form  of  the  summit,  it  Las  received  the 
name  of  the  Elephant's  Back.  Obsidian,  volcanic  breccia,  and  trachyte 
constitute  the  varieties  of  rocks  for  the  most  part.  The  general 
elevation  is  about  10,000  feet.  There  are  no  streams  of  any  size  flow- 
ing into  the  lake  on  the  west  side,  and  therefore  tliere  are  no  depres- 
sions of  any  importance  in  the  rim  that  would  form  passes  over  the 
divide.  It  is  around  the  lake  and  among  the  mountains  that  border  it 
that  we  encounter  the  most  formidable  impediments  to  traveling.  The 
autumnal  fires  sweep  among  the  dense  pine  forests,  and  the  winds  then  lay 
them  down  in  every  possible  direction.  Sometimes  a  perfect  net-work,  6  feet 
in  height,  is  formed  of  these  tall  pines,  wdiich  are  100  to  150  feet  in  length, 
and  it  was  with  the  utmost  dilhculty  that  we  could  thread  our  tortuous 
way  among  them.  We  attached  a  pair  of  shafts 
to  the  fore- wheels  of  one  of  our  ambulances  for 
the  odometer,  and  these  were  probably  the  first 
wdieels  that  ever  were  taken  into  this  little-known 
region.  The  labor  of  taking  this  single  pair  of 
wheels  over  such  a  country  was  extremely  great, 
both  for  the  man  who  managed  them  and  the 
animal  that  drew  them.  Sometimes  this  fallen 
timber  will  extend  from  five  to  ten  miles  con- 
tinuously. (Fig  33.)  We  adopted  the  plan  of 
making  peimanent  camps  at  different  points 
aiound  the  lake  while  explorations  of  the  country 
ill  the  vicinity  were  made.  Onr  second  camp 
was  pitched  at  the  hot  springs  on  the  southwest 

arm.  This])osition 
comnuinded  one  of 
the  finest  views  of 
thelakeand  its  sur- 
roundings. While 
the  air  was  still, 
scarcely  a  ripple 
could  be  seen  on 
the  surface,  and  the 
varied  hues,  from 
the  most  vivid 
green  shading  to 
ultramanne,  pre- 
sented a  picture 
that  would  have 
stirred  the  enthu- 
siasm of  the  most 
fastidious  artist. 
Sometimes  in  the 
latterportion  of  the 
day  a  strong  wind 
would  arise,  ai'ous- 
ing  this  calm  sur- 
face into  waves  like 
the  sea.  Near  our 
camp  there  is  a 
thick  deposit  of  the 
has  been  worn  by  the  waves  into  a  bluff  wall  25  feet 
high  above  the  water.  It  must  have  originally  extended  far  out 
into  the  lake.    The  belt  of  springs  at  this  place  is  about  three  miles 


silica,  which 



long  and  half  a  mile  wide.  The  deposit  now  can  be  seen  far  out  in  the 
deeper  portions  of  the  lake,  and  the  bubbles  that  arise  to  the  surface  in 
various  places  indicate  the  x^resence  at  the  orifice  of  a  hot  spring 
beneath.  Some  of  the  funnel-shaped  craters  extend  out  so  far  into  the 
lake  that  the  members  of  our  party  stood  upon  the  silicious  mound, 
extended  the  rod  into  the  deeper  waters,  and  caught  the  trout  and 
cooked  them  in  the  boiling  spring  without  removing  them  from  the 
hook.  These  orifices,  or  chimneys,  have  no  connection  with  the  waters 
of  the  lake.  The  hot  fumes  coming  up  through  fissures  extending  down 
toward  the  interior  of  the  earth  are  confined  within  the  walls  of  the 



walking  over,  it  seems  like  treading 
shells  along  the  sea-shore.  '  Much 

orifice,  which  are  mostly  circular 
and  beautifully  lined  with  delicate 
porcelain.  Figure  34  exhibits  a 
fine  cross-section  of  one  of  these 
funnel-shaped  basins.  Wherever 
the  heated  water  issues  from  ori- 
fices at  the  bottom  of  the  lake  the 
temperature  is  changed.  The 
deposit  of  silica  along  the  shore 
has  been  built  uj)  in  extremely 
thin  layers,  or  laminae,  never  more 
than  the  sixteenth  of  an  inch  in 
thickness.  The  shore,  for  several 
yards  in  width,  is  covered  to  a 
considerable  thickness  with  the 
disintegrated  silica,  so  that  in 
on  the  broken  fragments  of  washed 
of  the  debris  has  been  cemented 


together,  so  that  there  are  large  masses  scattered  around,  like  the 
Florida  coquina. 

The  question  will  arise  as  to  the  time  that  must  have  elapsed  during 
the  deposition  of  this  thick  bed  of  silica.  We  may  take  the  position 
that  no  new  groups  of  springs  break  out,  or  have  done  so  in  modern 
times.  Isolated  springs  connected  with  groups  may  form  new  openings, 
however.  We  may.  therefore,  start  from  the  period  of  the  cessation  of 
the  volcanic  forces  'of  this  region,  and  trace  the  history  down  to  the 
present  time.  Very  numerous  groups  have  gone  through  with  their 
period  of  activity,  and  now  nothing  but  a  mass  of  ruins  is  left.  It  is 
quite  possible  that  this  group  mani- 
fested its  greatest  power  when  the 
lake  extended  all  over  the  belt.  The 
waters  of  the  lake  have  undoubtedly 
receded  from  the  area  occupied  by 
this  belt  of  springs  within  a  compara- 
tively recent  period.  We  may  say  that 
the  deposition  of  the  beds,  so  far  as 
is  shown  by  any  evidence  we  can 
gather  at  this  time,  has  probably  oc- 
cupied one  or  two  thousand  years. 

The  springs  of  this  group  are  very 
numerous,  of  great  variety  and  inter- 
est, but  there  are  no  true  geysers. 
Some  of  these  are  what  I  would  call 
pulsating  springs ;  that  is,  the  water 
rises  and  falls  in  the  orifice  with  great  reo'ularity  once  in  two  or  three 
seconds.    There  are  also  a  great  number  of  mud-springs  high  up  on  the 





bank,  where  the  orifice  comes  up,  a  considerable  distance,  through  the 
soft  superficial  clays.  The  constant  thud  may  be  heard  at  our  camj;)  night 
and  day  from  half  a  dozen  of  these  mud-puffs.  (Fig.  35.)  They  have  built 
up  a  large  number  of  small  circular  mounds  about  2  feet  high.  These 
springs  do  not  differ  essentially  from  the  others  which  have  been  described. 
There  are  some  two  hundred  or  three  hundred  in  all,  of  all  sizes,  and  of 
variable  temperatures.  Some  of  them  are  50  feet  in  diameter,  and  when 
sounded  with  a  lead  showed  a  depth  of  40  to  50  feet.  One  of  them  was  as 
clear  as  crystal,  and  the  funnel-shaped  basin  was  45  feet  in  depth.  So 
clear  was  the  water  that  the  smallest  object  could  be  seen  on  the  sides  of 
the  basin,  so  that,  as  the  breeze  swept  across  the  surface,  the  ultramarine 
hue  of  the  transparent  depth  in  the  bright  sunlight  was  the  most  daz- 
zlingly  beautiful  sight  I  have  ever  beheld.  There  were  a  number  of 
these  large  clear  springs,  but  not  more  than  two  or  three  that  exhib- 
ited all  those  brilliant  shades,  from  deep-sea  green  to  ultramarine,  in 
the  sunlight.  The  surface  in  some  i^laces  is  covered  with  a  most  singu- 
lar substance,  which  seems  to  have  been  precipitated  by  the  overflow  of 
the  springs ;  it  is  very  prettily  variegated,  every  shade  of  green,  yellow, 
or  pink  and  rose  color,  but  not  as  vivid  as  in  some  other  localities. 
The  deposit  is  about  two  inches  in  thickness,  and  breaks  easily;  it 
seems  to  the  touch  like  jelly ;  it  is  largely  vegetable,  without  doubt 
composed  of  diatoms. 

Underneath  this  silicious  deposit,  and  along  the  shore  of  the  lake  on 
either  side  of  this  group  of  springs,  are  fine  exposures  of  the  strata  of 
the  modern  lake  deposit  which  I  have  so  often  alluded  to.  Sandstones, 
padding-stones,  and  indurated  clays,  all  formed  of  decomx^osed  vol- 
canic rocks,  present  fine  exposures.  They  extend  high  up  on  the  bor- 
ders of  the  lake.  Within  half  a  mile  of  this  camij  there  is  a  small 
lake,  hidden  among  the  dense  forests,  ab^ut  a  mile  in  length,  and  half 
a  mile  wide,  and  iDcrhaps  30  or  40  feet  higher  than  the  main  lake.  It 
seems  to  occupy  a  depression,  and,  though  entirely  isolated  at  present, 
was  once,  no  doubt,  a  portion  of  the  great  lake.  I  believe  that  the 
rivers  and  lakes,  large  and  small,  which  are  distributed  among  the 
dense  forests  around  the  lakes,  are  sim]Dly  fragments,  that  have  been 
cut  off  by  the  decrease  of  the  area  occupied  by  the  old  lake  basin. 
There  are  a  few  hot  springs  near  Heart  Lake,  one  of  which  is  a  moder- 
ate-sized geyser,  but  the  group  is  not  one  of  much  importance. 




On  the  morning  of  July  31, 1  detailed  a  small  party  from  our  camp  on 
the  northwest  shore  of  the  lake  to  make  the  examination  of  the  far- 
famed  geyser  basin  of  the  Fire-Hole  Eiver.  Mr.  Schonborn,  topographer, 
Mr.  Elliott,  artist,  and  Dr.  Peale,  mineralogist,  accompanied  me.  We 
took  a  southwesterly  course,  intending  to  strike  some  of  the  branches 
of  the  Madison,  and  follow  them  down  until  we  came  to  the  springs. 
Having  no  guide,  we  became  involved  in  the  net- work  of  fallen  timber, 
which  at  times  threatened  to  obstruct  our  passage  altogether.  We 
traveled  thirty-one  and  one-half  miles  that  day,  and  at  least  twelve  of 
them  were  among  the  fallen  pines,  where  we  were  obliged  to  wind  our 
way  wherever  we  could  find  the  prostrate  trees  low  enough  for  our 


mules  to  pass  over  them.  Now  and  then  we  would  come  out  into  an 
open  glade,  and  start  on  at  a  brisk  jDace  with  fresh  hope,  when  we 
would  come  again  to  a  belt  of  this  remarkable  uet-work  of  fallen  pines. 
In  all  our  journey  we  found  but  two  kinds  of  rock,  the  black  obsidian 
and  the  usual  trachyte.  At  one  point,  soon  after  leaving  camp,  we 
found  a  most  singular  natural  bridge  of  the  trachyte,  which  gives 
passage  to  a  small  stream,  which  we  called  Bridge  Creek.  There 
is  barely  room  across  it  for  a  trail  about  two  feet  wide,  which  is 
used  only  by  herds  of  elk  that  are  passing  daily.  The  descent  on 
either  side  is  so  great  that  a  fall  from  it  would  be  fatal  to  man  or  beast. 
J3very  few  minutes  we  met  with  a  group  of  dead  or  dying  springs ;  very 
few  of  them  contain  water  at  the  present  time,  but  steam  was  issuing 
from  hundreds  of  vents.  There  was  one  locality  where  the  deposit  cov- 
ered several  acres  that  presented  a  most  attractive  picture.  The  entire 
area  was  thickly  covered  with  conical  mounds  of  various  sizes,  ranging 
in  diameter  from  a  few  inches  to  a  hundred  feet  or  more,  and  these  cones, 
or  hillocks,  were  full  of  orifices  from  which  steam  was  issuing.  All 
these  little  chimneys,  or  orifices,  vv'ere  lined  with  the  most  brilliant  crys- 
tals of  sulphur,  and,  when  the  heated  crust  was  removed,  we  found  the 
under  side  adorned  in  the  same  manner.  The  basis  of  the  deposit  was 
silica,  as  white  as  snow ;  but  it  was  variegated  with  every  shade  of  yel- 
low from  sulphur,  and  with  scarlet  or  rose  color  from  oxide  of  iron.  In 
the  distant  view  the  appearance  of  the  whole  country  may  be  not  un- 
aptly compared  to  a  vast  lime-kiln  in  full  operation.  Most  of  the 
country  passed  over  has  been  washed  into  rounded  hills  from  50  to  200 
feet  in  height,  composed  of  the  whitish,  yellow,  pinkish  clays  and  sands 
of  the  modern  lake  deposits.  This  deposit  seems  to  prevail,  more  or 
less,  all  around  the  rim  of  the  basin,  reaching  several  hundred  feet  above 
the  present  level  of  the  lakl.  At  another  locality  there  was  quite  a 
large  stream  of  hot  water,  formed  by  the  overflow  of  a  group  of  springs. 
One  of  the  springs  was  constantly  throwing  up  a  column  of  water  sev- 
eral feet.  In  this  deposit  there  was  a  large  amount  of  calcareous  mat- 
ter, which  is  quite  unusual  in  the  Yellowstone  Basin.  We  know,  how- 
ever, that  there  are  patches  of  the  Carboniferous  limestone  here  and 
there,  remnants  of  the  great  series  of  strata  that  once  covered  the  entire 
region.  There  is  no  doubt  that  if  sufficient  time  was  given  to  explore 
all  the  country  about  the  sources  of  the  Yellowstone,  Missouri,  and 
Snake  Eivers,  great  numbers  of  other  grouj)S  of  springs  of  greater  or 
less  importance  would  be  found,  which,  as  yet,  have  never  been  seen  by 
human  eye.  Fortunately  for  us,  in  our  wanderings  we  struck  the  sources 
of  the  East  Fork  of  the  Madison  instead  of  those  of  the  Fire-Hole,  and, 
in  consequence,  saw  many  fine  springs  and  much  interesting  country 
which  would  otherwise  have  escaped  our  attention. 

Crossing  the  divide,  we  at  once  descended  a  steep  declivity  1,000  feet 
into  a  valley  about  ten  miles  below  the  extreme  source  of  the  East  Fork, 
and  there  camped  for  the  night.  The  next  morning,  August  1,  there 
was  a  heavy  frost  and  ice  a  sixteenth  of  an  inch  thick.  The  ther- 
mometer frequently  falls  to  26°  during  the  months  of  July,  August,  and 
September.  The  East  Fork,  near  the  iDoint  where  we  struck  it,  is 
about  30  feet  wide  and,  on  an  average,  10  feet  deep.  The  water  flows 
with  great  velocity,  is  quite  warm,  60°  to  70°,  at  one  camp  78°,  and  is 
fed  almost  entirely  by  warm  or  hot  springs.  The  entire  valley,  from  its 
source  to  its  junction  with  the  Madison,  extending  over  an  area  twenty- 
five  miles  long  and  an  average  of  half  a  mile  in  width,  is  covered  with  the 
siliceous  deposits  of  the  hot  springs,  ancient  or  modern.  The  bed  of  the 
stream  is  lined  with  the  white  silica,  and  the  valley  itself  looks  like  an 


alkali  flat.  The  springs  which  issue  from  the  base  of  the  mountains  on 
either  side  cause  the  bottom  to  be  marshy  or  boggy,  in  many  places 
rendering  the  traveling  difficult.  The  plateau  ridges  which  wall  the 
valley  in  on  either  side  rise  to  the  height  of  1,000  to  1,200  feet,  and  are 
covered  with  a  de"hse  growth  of  pines,  not  large,  seldom  more  than  24 
to  30  inches  in  diameter,  averaging  not  more  than  10  inches,  but  rising 
as  straight  as  an  arrow  to  the  height  of  100  to  150  feet,  and  growing 
so  thickly  together  that  it  was  with  great  difficulty  we  could  pass  among 
them  with  our  pack-animals. 

Among  the  foot-hills  on  the  south  side  of  the  East  Fork,  about  two 
miles  above  our  camp,  we  found  quite  an  interesting  group  of  springs 
in  a  more  or  less  active  state.  The  basis  material  of  the  deposit  is  the 
silica,  snowy  white;  but  here  and  there,  are  quite  extensive  deposits  of 
sulphur.  All  the  steam  vents  are  lined  with  sulphur,  and  the  little 
streams  which  flow  along  tbe  valley  with,  the  aggregated  waters  are  lined 
witb  the  silica,  or  tinged  with  the  most  delicate  cream  color.  There  are 
perhaps  thirty  or  forty  springs  in  this  group.  I  will  note  a  few  of  them : 
1.  A  sulpbur  spring,  128°.  2.  Boiling  spring  with  a  circular  basin  5  feet 
in  diameter,  172°.  3.  An  impulsive  spring  that  rises  and  falls  about  once 
a  second  with  a  jerking  noise,  192°.  4.  Throws  out  quite  a  stream 
of  w^ater,  12  inches  wide  and  2  inches  deep ;  the  basin  and  channel 
are  most  delicately  lined  with  sulphur,  182°.  5.  A  boiling  sulphur 
spring,  189°.  6.  A  boiling  spring,  199°.  7.  183°.  There  are  a  great 
number  of  steam  vents  with  the  orifices  lined  with  sulphur.  Underneath 
the  crust  also  are  found  crystals  of  sulphur  of  a  vivid  yellow.  We  were 
not  able  to  explore  this  stream  to  its  source  in  the  high  plateau,  but 
there  are  undoubtedly  many  of  these  groups  of  springs  which  we  did 
not  see.  We  followed  the  valley  down  to  the  Fire-Hole  Basin,  about  six 
miles,  and  found  scattering  springs  all  the  way.  At  one  point  we  found 
the  temperature  of  the  water  of  the  creek  76°.  It  was  remarkably  clear, 
but  it  was  insii^id,  like  ordinary  water  that  has  been  boiled.  ]3ut  the 
abundance  as  well  as  the  luxuriance  of  the  vegetation  in  and  around  the 
stream  was  almost  marvelous. 

About  two  miles  below  our  first  camp,  we  passed  a  pretty  little  stream 
flowing  down  from  the  hills,  with  the  channel  lined  with  a  delicate  veil 
of  creamy  sulphur.  We  followed  it  up  the  valley  a  half  a  mile  and  came 
to  another  group  of  springs  similar  to  those  just  described.  There 
were  a  number  of  steam  vents,  with  the  same  variety  of  delicate  linings 
and  shades  of  coloring.      In  Fig.  36. 

some  of  the  springs  iron  pre- 
dominates  over  the  sulphur,  '  //^      ^  ^ 
and  to  these  we  gave  the  name              ,  vU''//. 
of  Iron    Springs.    In    others      4  MM^S^^im.^ 
the  sulphur  is  in  excess,  and 
those    we     called    Sulphur 
Springs.    We  passed  springs 
of  various  kinds  and  temper-       __ 
ature  every  few  yards,  on  either  ^^^ 
side  of  the  creek  5  some  depos-     "^^'^ 
ited  great  quantities  of  iron, 
others  sulphur,   but  most  of 
them  large  quantities  of  both. 

The  grades  of  coloring  are  as  varied,  though  not  as  vivid.  The  basins  of 
the  springs  are  of  a  great  variety  of  shapes;  the  tendency,  howe^'er,  is 
to  a  circular  form.  The  basin  of  one  spring  is  funnel-shape.d,  circular,  5 
feet  in  diameter,  the  water  as  clear  as  crystal,  and  30  feet  in  depth.    2. 


With  a  funnel  2J  feet  in  diameter,  circular,  tapering  down  to  four  inches 
in  diameter,  with  the  sides  lined  with  a  delicate  white  enamel,  like  por- 
celain, a  most  beautiful  spring,  170°.  3.  Oblong  basin  5  by  15  feet,  158°, 
clear  water,  unknown  depth.  4.  Mud-spring,  12  inches  in  diameter, 
bubbling  like  mush,  190°.  (Fig.  36.)  There  are  many  more  which  lie 
along  the  margin  of  the  stream,  the  raised  craters  dotting  the  surface  in 
many  places.  Some  of  them  have  a  temperature  as  low  as  112°,  116°, 
125°,  and  yet  are  constantly  but  slightly  agitated  by  the  bubbles  rising 
to  the  surface,  so  that  they  might  be  classed  as  bubbling  springs.  Our 
second  camp,  on  the  East  Fork,  August  2  and  3,  comes  within  the 
limit  of  the  chart  of  the  Lower  Geyser  Basin,  just  below  the  thickest 
group  on  the  south  side  of  the  same  stream. 

Early  in  the  morning  of  the  3d,  we  commenced  the  survey  of  the  group 
of  springs  near  our  camp.  In  the  description  of  the  springs  of  this 
entire  basin,  I  will  refer  to  the  chart,  and  the  course  of  our  examina- 
tions may  be  traced  with  great  ease.  We  described  briefly  each  spring, 
ascertained  its  temperature,  and  located  it  topographically.  In  the 
morning  the  steam  ascends  from  over  a  hundred  orifices,  reminding  one 
at  once  of  Mr.  Langford's  comparison  of  a  factory  village. 

I  will  here  give  short  specific  descriptions  of  the  most  important  and 
characteristic  springs  of  this  group,  and  then  pass  on  to  the  Fire- Hole 
Valley.  1.  Clear  water,  bubbling,  basin  8  feet  in  diameter,  4  feet 
deep,  silica,  iron,  and  some  sulphur,  125°.  2.  Bubbling  up  slightly,  4 
feet  in  diameter,  6  feet  deep,  no  rim,  112°.  3.  Silica  and  iron  very 
abundant,  189°.  4.  Bubbling  most  beautifallj'-,  basin  2  by  3  feet,  with 
small  steam  orifices  all  around,  extensive  overflow  of  water,  17G°.  5. 
Small  but  elegantly  ornamented,  12  by  18  inches,  silica  and  iron, 
with  green  vegetable  matt^.  6.  Beautifully  scalloped  orifice  or  funnel, 
2  by  3  feet,  the  thin  siliceous  shell  or  crust  projects  over  the  funnel 
all  around.  7.  A  large  and  beautiful  spring,  circular,  15  feet  in  diame- 
ter, 5  feet  deep,  with  a  thick  deposit  of  iron  all  around  the  sides  of  the 
basin  and  on  the  surface  where  the  surplus  water  flows,  1 25°.  8.  Two 
springs  near  together,  142°  and  134°,  with  much  iron,  with  beautiful 
rim,  6  feet  in  diameter,  with  funnel-shaped  orifices ;  second  one  with 
basin  10  by  15  feet,  10  feet  deep,  water  clear  as  crystal.  9.  Orifice 
runs  straight  down  to  an  unknown  depth,  4  feet  in  diameter,  169°. 
Leaves  of  trees  in  the  basin  are  frosted  ail  over  with  silica  as  white  as 
snow.  The  delicate  bead-like  embroidery  over  the  inner  surface  of  the 
basin,  as  seen  through  the  clear  waters,  is  a  marvel  of  beauty.  10.  A 
scolloped  rim,  much  ornamented,  197°,  a  kind  of  spouting  geyser 5  the 
water  rises  up  in  the  orifice,  boils  violently  for  a  few  moments,  and  then 
sinks  down  again.  11.  Continually  throws  up  its  contents  6  to  12  inches, 
192°.  12.  Boils  with  a  supijressed  gurgle,  boiling  up  about  4  inches, 
shoots  up  at  times  6  to  10  inches,  a  small  locomotive  spring.  13.  The 
most  beautiful  of  all  in  this  group,  128°,  main  basin  10  by  15  feet,  water 
marvelously  transparent,  of  a  most  delicate  blue.  As  the  surface  is 
stirred  by  the  passing  brecLe,  all  the  colors  of  the  prism  are  shown, 
literally  a  series  of  rainbows.  We  called  the  most  delicately  colored 
springs.  Prismatic  Springs.  In  the  basin  yet  to  be  described,  are  several 
of  these  prismatic  springs  of  marvelous  beauty,  and  the  striking  vivid- 
ness of  the  colors.  Lieutenant  Doane  has  aptly  likened  to  the  stage 
representations  of  "  AUadin's  Cave,"  and  the  "  House  of  the  Dragon  Fly." 
I  was  at  once  reminded  of  the  wonderful  coloring  produced  on  the  stage 
at  one  of  the  modern  spectacular  exhibitions,  but  nothing  ever  con- 
ceived by  human  art  could  equal  the  peculiar  vividness  and  delicacy 
of  coloring  of  these  remarkable  prismatic  springs.    The  inner  sides  are 



covered  with  the  snow-white  silica,  which  in  the  beauty  and  complete- 
ness of  the  ornamentation  surpasses  the  most  intricate  embroidery  or 
frost-work.  About  a  mile  south  of  the  East  Fork,  on  the  head  of 
a  little  stream  that  flows  into  the  Fire-Hole  Eiver,  is  another  of  these 
beautiful  prismatic  springs,  which  we  called  the  Kainbow  Springs. 
A  thin  delicately  ornamental  rim  of  silica  surrounds  a  basin  6  feet  in 
diameter,  filled  to  the  margin  with  perfectly  clear  water,  and  as  the  morn- 
ing sunlight  falls  upon  it,  it  reflects  all  the  colors  of  the  prism,  156°. 

Before  leaving  the  group  on  the  East  Fork  I  will  allude  to  a.  few  more 
that  present  some  peculiarities.  One  spring  keeps  up  an  irregular  spout- 
ing. It  commences  quite  strong  and  violent  for  about  a  minute,  throw- 
ing the  water  up  about  two  feet,  then  it  recedes  into  its  crater  with  a 
kind  of  cavernous  gurgle,  193°.  Another  small  geyser  operates  con- 
stantly with  a  kind  of  subdued  gurgle,  178°.  Another  gives  forth  a  sup- 
pressed, low,  continuous  gurgle,  like  that  of  a  kettle  of  boiling  mush, 
193°.  Not  unfrequently  there  are  three,  and  even  five  orifices  in  a  single 
basin,  totally  unconnected  with  each  other.  Sometimes  one  of  them 
will  be  perfectly  quiescent  while  the  others  are  in  operation,  and  some- 
times all  are  going  at  the  same  time.  Sometimes  a  dead  or  dying  spring 
will  be  in  close  proximity  to  an  active  geyser,  or  a  calm  spring,  with  a 
temperature  of  180°  or  185°.  Those  springs  that  have  a  temperature 
of  180°  and  upward,  present  the  delicate  bead  or  frost  work  of  silica  on  the 
inner  sides  of  the  basin,  but  when  it  is  diminished  to  150°,  or  below,  a 
thick  coating  of  iron  is  deposited.  Many  of  the  old  springs  have  much 
the  appearance  of  huge  tan-vats.  In  some  of  the  basins  the  leathery 
lining  of  the  sides  becomes  torn  into  fragments,  which  wave  to  and  fro  at 
every  movement  of  the  waters.  These  leathery  masses^  which  are  per- 
fectly fragile  in  texture,  like  pulp  in  the  water,  become  hard  like  pieces 
of  bark  when  dry,  and  are  blown  about  by  the  wind.  It  is  probably 
composed  of  diatoms  aggregated  together,  as  the  vegetable  scum  upon 
a  stagnant  pool  and  covered,  and  perhaps  the  texture  filled,  with  the 
particles  of  oxide  of  iron.  Between  the  East  Fork  and  the  Fire- Hole 
Branch,  a  tongue  or  ridge  extends  down  for  a  short  distance  from  the 
main  range,  composed  mostly  of  a  gray  or  yellowish-gray  siliceous  ma- 
terial 5  evidently  an  old  hot-spring  deposit.  The  trachy tic  basalt  also 
crops  out  here  and  there,  and,  up  in  the  higher  portions  of  the  mountains, 

Fig-   37- 


prevails  altogether.  The  broken  hills  that  make  up  this  ridge  show, 
however,  that  the  history  of  these  springs  dates  far  back  to  the  period 
of  volcanic  activity,  for  the  spring-deposits — conglomerates,  volcanic 
breccia,  and  trachyte — are  all  mingled  together.  High  up  in  the  hills,  on 
the  south  side  of  the  ridge,  are  a  few  springs,  which,  in  the  early  morn- 
ing, send  up  large  columns  of  steam. 
We  then  passed  over  an  area  of  a  mile  in  width,  covered  with  a 



white  crust,  with  a  few  scattered  springs,  mostly  dead.  The  first 
group  does  not  diifer  materially  from  those  described  on  the  East  Fork. 
The  aggrega,ted  waters  form  a  little  stream,  which  flows  westward  into 

a  small  lake  in  a 
grove  of  pines; 
thence  southwest 
into  the  Fire-Hole 
Eiver.  (Fig.  37.) 
One  of  the  springs 
we  named  the 
Thumping  or  Thud 
Geyser,  from  the 
dull,  suppressed 
sound  which  is  given 
off  as  thewaterrises 
and  recedes.  The 
orifice  has  a  beauti- 
fully scalloped  rim, 
with  small  basins 
around  it,  185°. 
.  There  is  also  a  long 
i  fissure -spring,  the 
•  opening  40  feet  long, 
I  4  feet  wide,  and  10 
I  feet  deep,  clear  as 
1  crystal,  175°.  Also 
I  a  large  basin  nearly 
i  circular,  50  feet  in 
!.  diameter,  with  a 
I  number  of  huge 
:  apertures,  some  of 
which  throw  the  wa- 
ter up  30  feet.  From 
one  orifice  the  water 
shoots  up  continu- 
ally 4  to  6  feet.  All 
around  this  geyser- 
group  are  several 
smaller  springs  con- 
tinually bubbling. 
There  are  also  a 
number  of  reser- 
voirs once  in  an  act- 
ive state.  There  are 
large  numbers  of 
small  geysers,  some 
constantly  shooting 
up  2  to  10  feet  5  oth- 
ers in  a  violent  state 
of  ebullition,  rising 
and  falling ;  the  lat- 
ter might  l3e  called 
pulsating  springs. 
There  is  one  beauti- 
ful spring,  with  a  basin  so  large  that  it  looks  like  a  small  lake,  25  by  30 
feet,  and  one  can  look  from  the  margin  down  into  its  clear  depths  for  over 



30  feet  and  behold  a  fairy-like  palace,  adorned  with  more  brilliant 
colors  and  decorations  than  any  structure  made  by  human  hands. 
South  of  the  Thud 
Geyser,  as  laid 
down  on  the  chart, 
there  is  one  large 
basin,  150  feet  in 
diameter,  with  a 
crater  within  the 
rim  25  feet  in  di- 
ameter. From  this 
inner  orifice  the 
entire  mass  of  wa- 
ter is  thrown  up 
30  to  60  feet,  fall- 
ing back  into  it,  in 
detached  glob- 
ules, like  silver. 
There  is  a  rim 
around  the  inner 
crater  3  feet  high. 
The  vast  column 
of  water  as  it 
shoots  up,  spreads 
out  in  falling  back, 
like  a  natural  foun- 
tain, so  that  it 
overflowsthe  inner 
rim  for  a  radius  of 
10  feet.  (Fig.  38.) 
A  short  distance 
south  of  the  Foun- 
tain Geyser  is  one 
of  the  most  re- 
markable mud- 
pots  in  the  Fire- 
Hole  Vallev.  (Fig. 
39.)  The  diameter 
within  the  rim  is 
40  by  60  feet,  and 
forms  a  vast  mor- 
tar-bed of  the  fin- 
est material.  The 
surface  is  covered 
with  large  puJBfs, 
and  as  each  one 
bursts  the  mud 
spirts  ux)ward  sev- 
eral feet  with  a 
suppressed  thud. 
The  mud  is  an  im- 
palpable, siliceous 
clay,  fine  enough, 
it  would  seem,  for 
the  manufacture  of  the  choicest  ware.  The  colors  are  of  every  shade, 
from  the  purest  white  to  a  bright,  rich  x)ink.    The  surface  is  covered 



witli  twenty  or  thirty  of  these  puffs,  which  are  bursting  each  second, 
tossing  the  mud  in  every  direction  on  to  the  broad  rounded  rim.  There 
are  several  other  mud-puffs  in  the  vicinity,  but  they  do  not  differ  ma- 
terially from  the  last,  except  in  size.  Within  a  few  feet  of  the  mud- 
spring,  there  is  a  large  clear  spring,  40  by  60  feet,  with  perhaps  fifty  cen- 
ters of  ebullition,  filled  with  the  rusty  leathery  deposit,  and  all  around 
the  basin  where  the  waters  overflow  there  is  an  Extensive  deposit  of  the 

iron.  The  temperature  is 
140°.  About  one-fourth 
of  a  mile  west  of  the  large 
mud-pots  are  some  exten- 
sive fissure-springs,  one  of 
them  100  feet  long  and  of 
variable  width,  4  to  10 
feet.  These  appear  to  be 
merely  openings  in  the 
g  crust    or    deposit    which 

<  covers  the  entire  surface. 
p.  Quite  a  large  stream  flows 
I  from  this  spring.  Many 
g  of  the  springs  seem  to  re- 
K  main  full  to  the  rim  of  the 
I  crater,  and  are  in  a  con- 
^^  tinual  state  of  greater  or 
w  less  ebullition,  and  yet  no 
g  water  flows  from  them. 
"  Others   discharge  great 

0  quantities.  The  aggregate 
g  of  the  surplus  water  usu- 
g  ally  forms  a  good  sized 
g  stream,  as  is  shown  on  the 
"^  map.    In  this  group  are  a 

1  few  springs  that  have  pre- 

<  cipitated  a  small  amount  of 
^  sulphur,  the  first  observed 
g  in   the  Fire-Hole  Valley. 
"  (Fig.  40.)     Silica  and  iron 
I  seem  to  be  the  dominant 
^  constituent  in  nearly  all 
>  the  deposits.     There  are 
'^  numerous  springs  that  de- 
posit a  curious  black  sed- 
iment like  fine  gun-pow- 
der, and  send  forth  a  very 
disagreeable   odor.     On 
the  southeast  side  of  the 
basin,  it  will  be  seen  by 
reference  to  the  chart,  that 
there  is  a  long  group  of 
springs  extending  high  up 

into  the  mountains.  This  is  a  most  interesting  group,  and  many  of  them 
are  of  the  largest  size.  There  are  not  many  geysers,  and  none  of  the 
first  class,  yet  nearly  all  of  them  are  in  a  more  or  less  intense  state  of 
ebullition,  shooting  up  a  column  of  water  varying  from  a  few  inches  to 
8  or  10  feet.  Many  of  them  are  surrounded  with  a  deposit  tinged  with 
the  bnghtest  of  pink  and  rose  tints  from  the  oxide  of  iron.    The  aggre- 



gated  waters  leave  the  little  lake,  and  flow  down  with  considerable 
rapidity  toward  the  Fire-Hole,  by  steps  or  terraces;  each  step  or  ter- 
race forms  a  pool  with  its  beautiful  scalloped  rim,  from  the  notched 


edges  of  which  the  water  flows  on  to  successive  terraces.  In  one  of  the 
streams,  the  channel  of  which  is  about  two  feet  wide  and  one  foot  deep, 
the  water  was  filled  with  a  plant  with  a  yellowish-pink  base,  bordered 
with  a  very  fine  green  silky  fringe,  and  these  fringes,  or  cilia,  were  per- 



petnally  vibrating  with  the  flowing  waters.  Except  that  they  were  a 
rich  vegetable  green,  these  fringes  had  the  form  and  texture  of  the 
finest  cashmere  wool.  The  luxuriant  growth  of  vegetation  in  and 
along  the  borders  of  these  little  streams  was  a  wonder  of  beauty. 
The  whole  view  was  there  superior  to  anything  of  the  kind  I  had 
seen.  In  this  group  greatly  is  one  cone  with  the  top  broken  off,  18 
inches  high,  4  feet  in  diameter,  with  an  aperature  at  the  top  18 
inches  in  diameter,  in   a   constant   state   of    ebullition.      From   the 

form  of  the  crater 
we  Called  this  the 
Bee-Hive.  In  the 
lower  basin  there 
are  very  few  of  the 
raised  craters, 
but  mostly  coni- 
cal, funnel-shaped 
basins,  with  rims 
of  various  forms. 
The  majority  of 
them  are  circular 
or  nearly  so.  All 
around  the  Bee- 
Hive  for  several 
feet  the  surface  is 
oru  am  ented  with 
pearly  tubercles  of 
silica,  from  the 
size  of  a  pea  to 
three  inches  in  di- 
ameter. The  val- 
ley is  filled  with 
springs  up  to  its 
very  source,  and 
those  springs 
which  burst  from 
the  mountain  side 
800  feet  above  the 
sea  have  tempera- 
tures respectively 
of  160°,  175°,  and 
180°  On  the  south 
side  of  the  canon, 
flowing  down  the 
almost  vertical  side 
of  the  mountain, 
there  was  a  little 
cool  spring  so  imbedded  in  its  bright  green  carpet  of  moss  that  it 
could  hardly  be  seen.  With  great  difficulty  we  managed  to  climb  up 
the  mountain  side,  and,  clearing  away  the  moss,  obtained  the  first 
water  that  we  could  drink  for  eight  hours.  In  all  of  our  examination 
during  the  day  we  had  not  found  a  drop  of  water  of  sufficiently  low 
temperature  to  take  into  our  mouths,  though  there  were  hundreds 
of  the  most  beautiful  springs  all  around  us.  We  were  like  Coleridge's 
mariner  in  the  great  ocean,  "Water,  water  everywhere,  but  not  a  drop 
to  drink."  There  is  every  variety  of  form  here  to  the  basins  of  the 
springs.    One  is  a  fine  boiling  spring  with  a  nearly  circular  rim  5  by 



8  feet,  running  straight  down  beyond  the  reach  of  vision.  Another 
is  funnel-shaped,  tapering  down  to  a  mere  aperture,  with  the  thin 
scalloped  rim  projecting  over  the  water  all  around  for  several  inches. 
Some  have  no  water  flowing  from  them ;  others  send  forth  a  stream 
two  feet  wide  and  six  inches  deep.  These  springs  vary  in  temperature 
all  the  way  from  197°  to  140°.  About  half  of  the  springs  were  not 
considered  worthy  of  attention  and  are  not  located  on  the  chart.  In 
the  lower  portions  of  this  group,  there  is  one  of  the  handsomest  foun- 

tain-springs. The  basin  is  most  elegantly  scalloped,  nearly  circular, 
25  feet  in  diameter,  with  vertical  sides  to  an  unknown  depth.  The 
entire  mass  of  the  water  is  at  times  most  violently  agitated,  and,  over- 
flowing the  sides  of  the  basin,  passes  off  in  a  kind  of  terrace  pools  or 
reservoirs  to  the  main  stream,  producing  a  system  of  architecture  out 
of  silica  similar  to  that  of  the  calcareous  springs  on  Gardiner's  Eiver. 
(Fig.  41.)  The  gay  colors,  from  bright  pink  to  delicate  rose,  are  well 
shown.     Near  this  fountain  is  one  of  the  elevated  craters,  which  we 



called  the  White  Dome  Geyser.  (Fig.  42.)  The  broad  mound  is  15  feet 
high,  and  upon  this  is  a  chimney  about  20  feet  in  height.  The  steam 
issues  steadily  from  the  top  like  a  high-pressure  engine. 

Early  in  the  morning  of  August  30,  the  valley  was  literally  filled  with 
columns  of  steam,  ascending  from  more  than  a  thousand  vents.  I  can 
compare  the  view  to  nothing  but  that  of  some  manufacturing  city  like 
Pittsburgh,  as  seen  from  a  high  point,  except  that  instead  of  the  black 
coal  smoke,  there  are  here  the  white  delicate  clouds  of  steam.  (Fig.  43.) 
Small  groups  or  solitary  springs  that  are  scattered  everywhere  in  the 
woods,  upon  the  mountain-sides,  and  which  would  otherwise  have 
escaped  observation,  are  detected  by  the  columns  of  steam.  It  is  evi- 
dent that  some  of  these  groups  of  springs  have  changed  their  base  of 
operations  within  a  comparatively  recent  period ;  for  aboutmidway  on  the 
east  side  of  the  lower  basin  there  is  a  large  area  covered  with  a  thick, 
apparently  modern,  deposit  of  the  silica,  as  white  as  snow,  while  stand- 
ing quite  thickly  all  around  are  the  dead  pines,  which  appear  to  have 
been  destroyed  by  the  excessive  overflow  of  the  water  and  the  increased 
deposition.  These  dry  trees  have  a  most  desolate  look ;  many  of  them 
have  fallen  down  and  are  incrusted  with  the  silica,  while  portions  that 
have  fallen  into  the  boiling  springs  have  been  reduced  to  a  pulp.  This 
seems  to  be  one  of  the  conditions  of  siliciflcation,  for  when  these  pulpy 
masses  of  wood  are  permitted  to  dry  by  the  cessation  of  the  springs,  the 
most  perfect  specimens  of  petrified  wood  are  the  result.  In  one  instance 
a  green  pine-tree  had  fallen  so  as  to  immerse  its  thick  top  in  a  large  hot 
basin,  and  leaves,  twigs,  and  cones  had  become  completely  incrusted  with 
.   .  the  white  silica,  and  a  por- 

^^'  ^^'  tion  had  entered  into  the  cel- 

lular structure,  so  that  when 
removed  from  the  water,  and 
dried  in  the  sun,  very  fair 
specimens  were  obtained. 
Members  of  my  party  ob- 
tained specimens  of  pine 
cones  that  were  sufficiently 
silicified  to  be  packed  away 
among  the  collections. 

In  order  that  we  might  get 
a  complete  view  of  the 
Lower  Geyser  Basin,  from 
some  high  point,  we  made  a, 
trip  to  the  summit  of  Twin 
Buttes,  on  the  west  side  of 
the  basin.  From  the  top 
of  one  of  these  buttes,  which 
is  630  feet  above  the  Fire- 
Hole  Eiver,  we  obtained  a  bird's-eye  view  of  the  entire  lower  por- 
tion of  the  valley,  which  was  estimated  to  be  about  twenty  miles  long 
and  five  miles  wide.  To  the  westward,  among  the  mountains,  were  a 
number  of  little  lakes,  which  were  covered  with  a  huge  species  of  water- 
lily,  Ntvphar  advena.  The  little  streams  precipitated  their  waters  in  the 
most  picturesque  cascades  orfalls.  One  of  them  was  named  by  Colonel 
Barlow  the  Fairy  Fall,  from  the  graceful  beauty  with  which  the  little 
stream  dropped  down  a  clear  descent  of  250  feet.  It  is  only  from  a  high 
point  that  it  can  be  seen,  for  the  water  falls  gently  down  from  the  lofty 
overhanging  clifl"  into  a  basin  at  the  foot,  which  is  surrounded  by  a 
line  of  tall  pines  100  to  150  feet  in  height.    The  continual  flow  of  the 






Suivevod  by  the  Parly  m  thnrgr  of 
U  S  Geologut 


Compiiod  aiid  drawn  ft-om  field  QMbx  uid 
of  A  ScllODbom  byEilefVothaimer 

'  1  Stidm'itSMd^^^'' 


■\  ¥?.W 

1*. ••-■■■.':. 



waters  of  this  little  fountain  has  worn  a  deep  channel  or  furrow  into 
the  vertical  sides  of  the  mountain.  The  Twin  Buttes  are  two  conical 
mountains,  partially  separated  from  the  main  range,  and  on  the  sum- 
mit, a  few  vents  are  sending  forth  their  columns  of  steam.  As  far  as 
the  eye  can  reach,  can  be  seen  the  peculiar  plateau  mountain  ranges, 
black  with  the  dense  forests  of  pine,  averaging  from  9,000  to  10,000 
feet  above  sea-level.  On  the  west  side  of  the  Fire-Hole,  near  its  mar- 
gin, are  four  small  lakes  with  quiet  surfaces,  with  water  as  blue  as  the 
sky.  One  of  them  is  about  half  a  mile  in  length.  The  waters  are 
cold  at  the  present  time,  but  the  basins  present  the  appearance  of  having 
been  enormous  hot  S]3riiigs  at  some  period  in  the  past.  From  our  camp 
on  the  main  branch  that  enters  the  Fire-Hole  at  the  upper  end  of 
the  lower  group  of  springs  on  the  borders  of  the  rim,  we  made  our 
examinations  down  the  stream,  descending  the  east  side  and  return- 
ing on  the  opposite  Fig.  45. 
side,  and  then  passing  "  '  j.,  >, 
up  the  west  branch, 
noting  all  the  springs 
of  importance,  taking 
the  temperatures,  and 
securing  brief  descrip- 
tions of  their  peculi- 
arities. Most  of  them 
do  not  differ  materi- 
ally from  those  already 
described,  so  that  I 
shall  notice  only  the 
most  important.  The 
numbers  of  the  vents 
can  be  understood  by 
reference  to  the  chart, 
although  many  of  the 
less  important  and 
dead  springs  are  omit- 
ted. The  first  one  we 
shall  notice  is  located 
on  the  right  branch  of  the  river,  and  from  the  triangular  shape  of  its  basiii, 
8  by  10  feet,  we  named  it  the  "Conch  Spring."  All  along  the  margins 
of  the  river  hundreds  of  springs,  which  we  could  not  note,  but  which 
aid  in  swelling  the  volume  of  the  stream,  issue  from  beneath  the  siliceous 
crust.  A  little  below  the  Conch  Spring,  on  the  very  margin  of  the 
river,  there  is  a  fine  geyser,  which  has  built  for  itself  a  crater  three  feet 
high,  with  a  shell  a  foot  thick.  The  inside  of  the  crater  is  about  six 
feet  in  diameter,  and  the  entire  mass  of  water  is  in  a  constant  state 
of  agitation.  Sometimes  it  will  boil  up  so  violently  as  to  throw  the 
entire  mass  up  four  feet,  and  then  die  down  so  as  to  boil  like  a  caldron. 
Indeed,  the  whole  process  might  be  imitated  by  subjecting  a  caldron 
of  water  to  continuous  and  excessive  heat.  The  water  is  perfectly  clear, 
and  the  overflow  forms  a  stream  six  inches  wide  and  two  inches  deep, 
passing  down  the  sides  of  the  crater  and  thence  into  the  river  along  the 
most  exquisitely  decorated  channel.-  The  entire  surface  of  the  crater  is 
covered  with  pearl-like  beads,  formed  by  the  spray  of  the  waters.  A 
section  of  the  crater  shows  it  to  have  been  built  up  very  slowly,  in  very 
thin  lamiuse.  Another  spring,  with  a  crater  like  a  horn,  about  a  foot 
in  diameter  at  the  top  and  six  feet  at  the  base,  we  called  the  Horn 
Geyser.  It  is  in  a  constant  state  of  ebullition,  with  the  same  ornamenta 



tions  as  the  one  just  described.  A  spring  on  a  level  with  the  river  has 
an  enormous  square  basin,  30  feet  across,  of  unknown  depth.  We  called 
this  the  Bath  Spring.  A  little  below  is  another  singular  form  of  won- 
derful beauty.  The  water  issues  from  beneath  the  crust  near  the  mar- 
gin of  the  river  from  several  apertures.  The  basin  itself  is  15  by  20 
feet  and  20  feet  deep.  It  seemed  to  me  that  nothing  could  exceed  the 
transparent  clearness  of  the  water.  The  slightest  object  was  reflected 
in  its  clear  depths,  and  the  bright  blue  tints  were  indescribable.  We 
called  this  the  Cavern.  The  mud  springs  are  also  numerous  and  im- 
portant in  this  group.  As  usual,  they  are  of  all  sizes,  from  an  inch  or 
two  to  20  or  30  feet  in  diameter,  with  contents  varying  from  mere  turbid 
water  to  stiff  mud.  They  seldom  have  any  visible  outlet,  but  are  in  a 
constant  state  of  agitation,  with  a  sound  which  varies  with  the  consist- 
ency of  the  contents.  There  are  several  of  the  mud-pots  which  give 
off  a  suppressed  thud  as  the  gases  burst  their  way  through  the  stiff 
mortar.  Sometimes  the  mortar  is  as  white  as  snow,  or  brown,  or  tinged 
with  a  variety  of  vivid  colors.  One  mud-spring,  located  in  the  woods 
near  a  small  lake  on  the  east  side  of  the  Fire-Hole,  has  a  basin  30  by  40 
feet,  with  sides  15  feet  high,  in  constant  action,  frequently  hurling  the 
mud  outside  of  the  rim.  All  around  it  are  a  number  of  little  vents, 
which  keep  up  a  simmering  noise,  some  of  which  have  bailt  up  little 
cones  4  to  12  inches  high,  which  have  in  many  cases  closed  themselves 
up  at  the  top  and  ceased.  On  removing  the  cone,  we  found  the  inner 
sides  lined  with  the  delicate  crystals  of  sulphur.  The  last  stage  of  these 
springs,  in  many  cases,  seems  to  be  a  steam-vent,  at  which  time  the 
sulphur  is  deposited.  On  the  west  side  of  the  Fire-Hole,  and  along  the 
little  branch  that  flows  into  it  from  the  west,  are  numbers  of  springs  of 
all  grades,  and  the  broad  bottom  is  covered  with  a  snow-white  siliceous 
crust.  Near  the  base  of  the  mountains,  there  is  a  massive,  first-class 
boiling  spring,  in  a  constant  state  of  violent  agitation,  sending  forth 
great  columns  of  steam,  with  a  singular  toad-stool  rim.  There  are  some 
springs  around  which  the  siliceous  deposits  have  assumed  a  form  like 
the  toad-stool  fungus.  It  flows  out  from  beneath  a  hill  150  feet  high, 
composed  of  a  kind  of  stratified  cement,  which  was  certainly  deposited 
in  the  lake  when  these  hot  springs  were  in  active  operation.  It  is 
undoubtedly  formed  of  volcanic  ejectamenta  mingled  with  the  deposits 
from  the  hot  springs ;  196°.  There  are  some  that  might  be  called  spas- 
modic springs.  There  is  one  massive  spring,  with  a  most  beautifully 
scalloped  rim  15  by  20  feet,  which  is  always  agitated,  but  occasionally 
shoots  up  several  feet  with  great  violence ;  196°.  About  three  miles  up 
the  Fire-Hole  we  meet  with  a  small  but  quite  interesting  group  of  springs 
on  both  sides  of  the  stream.  There  is  a  vast  accumulation  of  silica,  form- 
ing a  hill  50  feet  along  the  level  of  the  river;  upon  the  summit  is  one  of 
the  largest  springs  yet  seen,  nearly  circular,  150  feet  in  diameter,  boils  up 
in  the  center,  but  overflows  with  such  uniformity  on  all  sides  as  to  admit 
of  the  formation  of  no  real  rim,  but  forming  a  succession  of  little  orna- 
mental steps,  from  one  to  three  inches  in  height,  just  as  water  would 
congeal  from  cold  in  flowing  down  a  gentle  declivity.  There  was  the 
same  transparent  clearness,  the  same  brilliancy  of  coloiting  to  the  waters, 
but  the  hot  steam  and  the  thinness  of  the  rim  prevented  me  from  ap- 
proaching it  near  enough  to  ascertain  its  temperature  or  observe  its 
depth,  except  at  one  edge,  where  it  was  180°.  It  is  certainly  one  of  the 
grandest  hot  springs  ever  seen  by  human  eye.  (Fig.  46.)  ,But  the  most  for- 
midable one  of  all  is  near  the  margin  of  the  river.  It  seems  to  have  broken 
out  close  by  the  river,  and  to  have  continually  enlarged  its  orifice  by  the 
breaking  down  of  its  sides.    It  evidently  commenced  on  the  east  side, 


and  the  continual  wear  of  the  under  side  of  the  crust  on  the  west  side 
has  caused  the  margin  to  fall  in,  until  an  aperture  at  least  250  feet  in 
diameter  has  been  formed,  with  walls  or  sides  20  to  30  feet  high,  showing 
the  laminae  of  deposition  perfectly.  The  water  is  intensely  agitated  all 
the  time,  boiling  like  a  caldron,  from  which  a  vast  column  of  steam  is 
ever  arising,  filling  the  orifice.  As  the  passing  breeze  sweeps  it  away 
for  a  moment,  one  looks  down  into  this  terrible  seething  pit  with  terror. 
All  around  the  sides  are  large  masses  of  the  siliceous  crust  that  have 
fallen  from  the  rim.  An  immense  column  of  water  flows  out  of  this 
caldron  into  the  river.  As  it  pours  over  the  marginal  slope,  it  descends 
by  numerous  small  channels,  with  a  large  number  of  smaller  ones  spread- 
ing over  a  broad  surface,  and  the  marvelous  beauty  of  the  strikingly 
vivid  coloring  far  surpasses  anything  of  the  kind  we  have  seen  in  this 
land  of  wondrous  beauty ;  every  possible  shade  of  color,  from  the 
vivid  scarlet  to  a  bright  rose,  and  every  shade  of  yellow  to  delicate 
cream,  mingled  with  vivid  green  from  minute  vegetation.  Some  of  the 
channels  were  lined  with  a  very  fine,  delicate  yellow,  silky  material, 
which  vibrates  at  every  movement  of  the  waters.  Mr.  Thomas  Moran, 
the  distinguished  artist,  obtained  studies  of  these  beautiful  springs 
and  from  his  well-known  reputation  as  a  colorist,  we  look  for  a 
painting  that  will  convey  some  conception  to  the  mind  of  the  exqui- 
site variety  of  colors  around  this  spring.  There  was  one  most  beau- 
tiful funnel-shaped  spring,  20  feet  in  diameter  at  the  top,  bat  tapering 

Fig.    46. 


down,  lined  inside  and  outside  with  the  most  delicate  decorations.  Indeed, 
to  one  looking  down  into  its  clear  depths,  it  seemed  like  a  fairy  palace.  The 
same  jelly-like  substance  or  pulp  to  which  I  have  before  alluded,  covers 
a  large  area  with  the  various  shades  of  light-red  and  green.  The  sur- 
face yields  to  the  tread  like  a  cushion.  It  is  about  two  inches  in  thick- 
ness, and  although  seldom  so  tenacious  as  to  hold  together,  yet  it 
may  be  taken  up  in  quite  large  masses,  and  when  it  becomes  dry 
it  is  blown  about  by  the  wind  like  fragments  of  variegated  lichens. 
At  the  upper  end  of  the  lower  district  are  three  immense  boiling 
springs  on  the  east  margin  of  the  river,  and  on  the  opposite  side  are 
two  or  three  more,  and  then  comes  a  long  interval  of  two  or  three 
miles  which  is  entirely  free  from  springs,  until  we  reach  the  upper 
basin.  The  immediate  valley  is  covered  with  old  siliceous  deposits  up 
to  the  base  of  the  hills  on  either  side,  showing  that,  although  there  are 
no  springs  at  this  time,  it  was  once  the  scene  of  great  activity.  The  bot- 
tom over  which  the  river  flows  is  paved  with  the  old  silica.  The  forest 
grows  close  down  to  the  margin  of  the  river,  and  in  one  place  the  hills 
of  trachyte  almost  close  in  the  valley.    High  up  on  either  side  are  walls 



of  trachyte  apparently  stratified  and  inclining  10°  to  15°  from  the  val- 
ley. The  vegetation  grows  remarkably  rank  along  the  streams  and  in 
the  valley  where  the  crust  of  silica  does  not  prevent  it.  The  perpetual 
warmth  caused  by  the  proximity  of  the  springs  is  undoubtedly  very  fa- 
vorable to  the  growth  of  plants. 

We  camped  the  evening  of  August  5,  in  the  middle  of  the  Tipper 
Geyser    Basin,  in  the  midst  of   some  of    the  grandest   geysers    in 


the  world.  Colonel  Barlow  and 
Captain  Heap,  of  the  United 
States  Engineers,  were  camped 
on  the  oi)posite  side  of  the 
Fire-Hole.  Soon  after  reaching 
camp  a  tremendous  rumbling 
was  heard,  shaking  the  ground 
in  every  direction,  and,  soon 
a  column  of  steam  burst  forth 
from  a  crater  ,  near  the  edge  of 
the  east  side  of  the  river.  Fol- 
lowing the  steam,  arose,  by  a 
succession  of  impulses,  a  col- 
umn of  water,  apparently  6  feet 
in  diameter,  to  the  height  of  200 
feet,  while  the  steam  ascended 
a  thousand  feet  or  more.  It 
would  be  difficult  to  describe  the 
intense  excitement  which  atten- 
ded smeh  a  display.  It  is  prob- 
able that  if  we  could  have  re- 
mained in  the  valley  several 
days,  and  become  accustomed  to 
all  the  preliminary  warnings,  the 
excitement  would  have  ceasecl, 
and  we  could  have  admired 
calmly  the  marvelous  ease  and 
beauty  with  which  this  column 
of  hot  water  was  held  up  to  that 
great  height  for  the  space  of 
twenty  minutes.  After  the  dis- 
play is  over  the  water  settles 
down  in  the  basin  several  inches 
and  the  temioerature  slowly  faUs 
to  150°.  We  called  this  the 
Grand  Geyser,  for  its  power 
seemed  greater  than  any  other 
of  which  we  obtained  any  knowl- 
edge in  the  valley.  (Fig,  47.) 
There  are  two  orifices  in  one  ba- 
sin ;  one  of  them  seems  to  have  no  raised  rim,  and  is  a  very  modest-looking 
spring  in  a  state  of  quiescence,  and  no  one  would  for  a  moment  suspect 
the  power  that  was  temporarily  slumbering  below.  The  orifice  is  oblong, 
2^  by  4  feet,  while  for  the  space  of  10  feet  in  every  direction  around  it 
are  rounded  masses  of  silica,  from  a  few  inches  to  3  feet  in  diameter, 
looking  like  spongiform  corals.  Nothing  could  exceed  the  crystal  clear- 
ness of  the  water.  This  is  the  Grand  Geyser.  Within  20  feet  of  this 
orifice  is  a  second  one,  of  irregular  quadrangular  form,  15  by  25  feet ; 
the  east  side  of  the  main  outer  rim  of  reservoir  extended  20  feet  beyond 




the  large  orifice.  The  bottom  of  this  great  reservoir  is  covered  with 
thick  spongiform  masses,  and  in  addition  the  rim  is  most  elegantly 
adorned  with  countless  pearl-like  beads,  of  all  sizes.  *  There  are  sev- 
eral beautiful  triangular  reservoirs,  1^  by  3  feet,  set  around  the  outer 
sides  of  the  rim,  with  numerous  smaller  ones,  full  of  clear  water,  with 

Fig.  48. 



GRAND     GEYSER,     UPPER     BASIN      G  E  Y  S  E  R,    F  I  R  E-H  O  CE     RIVER. 

hundreds  of  small  depressions  most  beautifully  scalloped.  As  we 
recede  from  the  rim,  the  waters  as  they  pass  slowly  away  produce,  by 
evaporation,  broad  shallow  basins,  with  thin,  elegantly  colored  partitions, 
portions  of  which  have  the  form  of  toad-stools.  When  the  water  set- 
tles into  these  depressions,  or  flows  away  toward  the  river  in  nume- 
rous small  channels,  the  wonderful  variety  of  coloriDg  which  is  so 
attractive  to  the  eye  is  produced.  The  large  orifice  seems  to  be  in  a 
state  of  violent  agitation  as  often  as  once  in  twenty  minutes,  raising  up 
the  entire  mass  of  water  10  or  15  feet.  It  is  never  altogether  quiet. 
Although  these  two  orifices  are  within  the  same  rim,  I  could  not  ascertain 
that  there  is  the  slightest  connection  with  each  other.  When  the  large 
orifice  is  much  agitated  it  does  not  disturb  the  equanimity  of  the  Grand 
Geyser.  They  both  operate  perfectly  independent  of  each  other.  Indeed, 
I  do  not  know  that  there  is  a  connection  between  any  of  the  springs  in 
the  whole  basin,  though  there  may  be  in  some  rare  cases.  The  Grand 
Geyser  operated  twice  while  we  were  in  the  basin,  with  an  interval  of 



about  thirty-two  hours ;  of  course,  the  displays  could  not  be  exactly 
periodic,  but  it  would  be  an  interesting  study  to  remain  several 
days  and  watch  carefully  the  movements  of  such  a  power.  Just 
east  of  the  Grand  Geyser,  as  located  on  the  chart,  is  a  moderate- 
sized  geyser,  with  three  smaller  ones  along  the  .side  of  it,  all  playing 
at  the  same  time.  From  the  larger  one,  a  column  of  water  is 
constantly  shot  up  15  or  20  feet,  with  much  the  sound  of  the  escape 

of  the   steam  from 
^^-  ^^'  a  pipe.    The  orifice 

is  not  more  than  6 
inches  in  diameter  5 
but  with  the  three 
smaller  ones  play- 
ing at  the  same  time 
a  great  commotion  is 
excited.  JSTear  this 
little  group  are  sev- 
eral large  boiling 
springs,  which 
throw  tip  the  water 
in  the  center  2  to 
,  _4  feet.  These  are 
i>^^  funnel-shaped,  with 
_  orifices  6  inches  to 
_  2  feet  in  diameter, 
in  basius  with  near- 
ly circular  rims,  15 
to  40  feet  in  diameter.  About  one-fourth  of  a  mile  northeast  of  the 
castle,  upon  a  mound  about  30  feet  above  the  river,  built  up  with  thin 
laminae  of  silica,  and  rounded  o^,  rise  four  chimneys  of  different  sizes, 
which  are  geysers,  though  i^erhaps  not  spouting  extensively  at  this 

;ATER     forms,      FIRE-HOI.C     I!  A  S  I  N. 

Fig.   50. 

time.  One  is  12 
inches  high,  nearly 
circular,  and  3  feet 
in  diameter ;  the 
second  is  oblong, 
4  by  6  feet,  with 
rather  coarsely 
scalloped  margins, 
with  an  aperture 
about  15  inches  in 
diameter;  the  third 
chimney  is  about 
3  feet  high,  G  feet 
at  the  base,  with 
an  orifice  nearly 
quadrangular,  12 
inches  across,  with  . 
the  spongiform  masses  inside,  and  covered  all  over  wi^h  beautiful 
pearly  beads  of  silica  on  the  outside;  the  fourth  chimney  rises  5  feet 
above  the  mound,  is  10  feet  in  diameter  at  the  base,  with  an  orifice 
2  feet  across,  lined  inside  with  the  spongiform  masses.  This  has  been 
at  one  time  a  first-class  geyser,  but  is  now  fast  going  to  decay,  a  beau- 
tiful rim.  The  elegant  bead- work  on  the  margin  and  all  the  spongi- 
form masses  are  now  falling  into  pieces,  forming  great  quantities  of 
debris  around  the  base  of  the  mound.    There  is  also  one  boiling  spring 




of  great  aesthetic  beauty.  The  immediate  orifice  is  nearly  circular,  and 
beautifully  scalloped  arouud  the  margins,  extends  straight  down,  and 
the  Yfater  rises  within  an  inch  or  two  of  the  scalloped  margin.  The 
water  is  in  a  constant  state  of  agitation,  boiling  up  2  feet  at  times. 
The  margin  has  a  coating  of  bright  cream-yellow,  while  all  around  the 
surface  there  is  the  most  delicate  and  intricate  embroidering,  surpassing 
the    most     elaborate  ^. 

Fig. 51. 

ic.^  ~^. 

lace-work.    Surround- 
ing the  crater  is  an 
outer  reservoir  4  feet  ^^  ^ 
wide,  with  a  white  and  :!^^^^^ 
reddish-yellow     rim,  --'^"^'^ 
while  in  the  bottom  of 
the  reservoir    is    the 
variegated     sediment 
which  aids  in  giving 
such    a    wonderfully 
gay  appearance  to  the 
spring.    A  stream  ofm^^ 
water  flows  from  the^ 
spring  to    the   river, 
and    the    channel    is  punch  bowl,  no.  i. 

lined  for  fifty  yards  with  the  variegated  sediment.  Near  this  is  another 
mound  which  rises,  with  laminated  steps,  about  6  feet.  I  called  it  the 
Bath-Tub.  (Fig.  50.)  It  has  much  the  shape  and  size  of  our  ordinary 
bathing-tubs,  5  by  10  feet,  beautifully  scalloped  around  the  inner  margins 
with  the  spongiform  or  cauliflower  masses  of  silica  inside,  and  the  outer 

;;^  -       ^^  _g.f_::f-„^ ■'■'•'iV^     .. -^ 


surface  adorned  with 

the  greatest  profusion 

of  the  pearly  beads; 

the  water  is  constantly 

boiling  up  2  feet  high, 

though    but    a  small 

quantity  flows  from  it. 

There   are    numerous 

_  craters    or    chimneys 

-^  which  are  well  worthy 

t"  of  attention,  similar  to 

^  those  just  described, 

J  as  the  Punch  Bowl  and 

-^"^^^^  Dental  Cup.   (Figs.  51 

and  52.) 
On  the 

summit    of 


the  great  mound,  is 
one  of  a  class  I  have 
called  central  springs ; 
it  is  located  on  the  highest  point  of  the  mound,  on  which  this  great 
group  belongs ;  has  a  crater  20  feet  in  diameter,  very  nearly  quiescent, 
slightly  bubbliug,  or  boils  near  the  center,  with  a  thin  elegant  rim 
projecting  over  the  spring,  with  the  water  rising  within  a  few  inches  of 
the  top.  The  continual  but  very  moderate  overflow  of  this  spring  uni- 
formly on  every  side,  builds  up  slowly  a  broad-based  mound,  layer  by 
layer,  one-eighth  to  one-sixteenth  of  an  inch  thick;  looking  down  into 
these  springs,  you  seem  to  be  gazing  into  fathomless  depths,  while 
the  bright  blue  of  the  waters  is  unequaled  even  by  the  sea.    There 



are  a  number  of  these  marvelous  central  springs ;  they  usually  crown 
the  summit  of  a  mound,  with  projecting  rims  carved  with  an  intricate 


mm  iiii 

delicacy  which  of  itself  is  a  marvel,  and  as  one  ascends  the  mound  and 
looks  down  into  the  wonderfully  clear  depths,  the  vision  is  unique.    The 





great  beauty  of  the  prismatic  colors  depends  much  on  the  sunlight,  but 
about  the  middle  of  the  day,  when  the  bright  rays  descend  nearly  verti- 
cally, and  a  slight  breeze  just 
makes  a  ripple  on  the  surface, 
the  colors  exceed  comparison  ; 
when  the  surface  is  calm 
there  is  one  vast  chaos  of 
colors,  dancing,  as  it  were,  like 
the  colors  of  a  kaleidoscope. 
As  seen  through  this  marvelous 
play  of  colors,  the  decorations 
on  the  sides  of  the  basin  are 
lighted  up  with  a  wild,  weird 
beauty,  which  wafts  one  at  once 
into  the  land  of  encbantment; 
all  the  brilliant  feats  of  fairies 
and  genii  in  the  Arabian  ISTights' 
Entertainments  are  forgotten 
in  the  actual  presence  of  such 
marvelous  beauty;  life  becomes 
a  privilege  and  a  blessing  after 
one  has  seen  and  thoroughly  felt  these  incomparable  types  of  nature's 
cunning  skill.  There  is  another  geyser,  which  has  a  chimney  3  feet 
high  and  5  feet  in  diameter  at  the  base,  with  an  orifice  2^  feet  at  the 
top,  lined  with  the  spongiform  silica  inside,  and  on  the  outside  adorned 
with  bead  and  shell  work.  There  is  a  form  of  shell  crystallization 
that  reminds  one  of  the  artificial  shell-work  made  with  small  thin 
oyster-shells ;  the  form  of  the  chimney  is  like  an  old-fashioned  bee-hive. 
High  up  in  the  hills  there  is  one  lone  spring  20  by  30  feet,  with  consider- 
able flow,  forming  with  the  sediment  a  high  mound  250  yards  in  diam- 
eter ;  it  is  constantly  boiling  up  in  the  center  about  2  feet ;  it  has  the 
prettily  scalloped  rim,  and  is  250  feet  above  the  river.  The  group  just 
described  is  a  most  remarkable  one,  and  I  call  attention  to  it  on  the 
chart  in  which  the  Bee-Hive  and  Giantess  are  located. 

.  We  will  now  pass  to  the  op- 

^  ^ "  ^  ^  ■  posite  side  of  the  river  for  a 

moment,  and  examine  the  Cas- 
tle and  its  surroundings.  Upon 
the  mound  on  which  the  Castle 
is  located,  there  is  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  of  the  calm 
springs,  of  which  Mr.  Jackson 
secured  an  excellent  photo- 
graph; it  does  not  boil  at  all, 
but  the  surface  is  kept  in  a  con- 
stant vibration;  the  spring  has 
a  rim  nearly  circular,  25  by  30 
feet;  is  somewhat  funnel- 
shaped,  passing  down  to  a 
depth  of  60  feet  in  water  that 
has  an  almost  unnatural  clear- 
ness, to  a  small  aperture,  which 
leads  under  the  shell  to  an  unknown  depth;  the  rim  slopes  down  on 
the  other  side  all  around  about  12  inches,  1  to  3  inches  thick, 
most  elegantly  scalloped,  the  under  sides  in  leaves  like  a  toad-stool ; 
the  inner  lining  of  the  basin  is  a  marvel  of  delicate  tracery  of  pure 




white  silica  ;  deep  down  in  the  sides  of  the  basin  are  what  appear 
to  he  chambers,  all  finished  off  with  the  same  delicate  worlc.  The 
Castle  receives  its  name  from  its  resemblance  to  the  ruins  of  an  old 
castle  as  one  enters  the  valley  from  the  east.  The. silica  has  crystallized 
in  immense  globular  masses,  like  cauliflowers  or  spongiform  corals;  all 
around  it  the  crystals  seemed  to  have  formed  about  a  nucleus  at  right 
angles  to  the  center;  the  entire  mound  is  about  40  feet  high,  and  the 
chimney  20  feet ;  the  lower  portion  rises  in  steps  formed  of  thin  lamina? 
p-         g  of  silica,  mostly  very  thin,  but  some- 

times becoming  compact,  an  inch  or 
two  thick.  On  the  southeast  side, 
where  the  water  is  thrown  out  contin- 
ually, these  steps  are  ornamented  with 
the  usual  bead  and  shell  work,  with 
the  large  cauliflower -like  masses,  but 
the  other  portions  are  fast  going  to  de- 
cay, and  the  debris  are  abundant;  in- 
deed, this  has  undoubtedly  been  one 
of  the  most  active  and  powerful  geysers 
in  the  basin ;  it  still  keei)s  up  a  great 
roaring  inside,  and  every  few  moments 
throws  out  a  column  of  water  to  the 
height  of  10  or  15  feet ;  all  around  it 
are  some  most  beautifully  ornamented 
reservoirs  that  receive  the  surplus  wa 
ters.  If  I  should  here  describe  the  Giant, 
Grotto,  Punch-Bowl,  and  a  hundred 
other  geysers  of  all  classes,  it  would  be 
pretty  much  a  repetition  of  what  has 
alread.>  been  written.  The  Giant  has  a  crater  like  a  broken  horn,  and, 
while  my  party  were  in  the  basin,  played  at  one  time  one  hour  and 
twenty  minutes,  throwing  the  Avater  up  to  the  height  of  140  feet.  Lieu- 
tenant Doane  states  that  at  the  time  of  his  visit  the  previous  year  it 
played  three  and  a  half  hours,  throwing  a  column  of  water  90  to  200  feet. 
"*The  Giant  has  a  rugged  crater,  10 
feet  in  diameter  on  the  outside,  with 
an  irregular  orifice  5  or  6  feet  in  di- 
ameter. (Fig.  58.)  It  discharges  a  vast 
body  of  water,  and  the  only  time  we 
saw  it  in  eruption  the  flow  of  water 
in  a  column  5  feet  in  diameter,  and 
140  feet  in  vertical  height,  continued 
uninterruptedly  for  nearly  three  hours. 
The  crater  resembles  a  miniature  model 
of  the  Coliseum. 

Our  search  for  new  wonders  leading 
us  across  the  Fire-Hole  Eiver,  we  as- 
cended a  gentle  incrusted  slope,  and 
came  suddenly  upon  a  large  oval  aper- 
ture with  scalloped  edges,  the  diam- 
eters of  which  were  18  and  25  feet, 
the  sides  corrugated  and  covered 
with  a  grayish-white  siliceous  deposit,  which  was  distinctly  visible  at 
the  depth  of  100  feet  below  the  surface.  IsTo  water  could  be  discovered, 
but  we  could  distinctly  hear  it  gurgling  and  boiling  at  a  great  dis- 
tance below.    Suddenly  it  began  to  rise,  boiling  and  spluttering,  and 

*  N.  P.  Langford  in  Scribner's  Monthly  for  June.  1S71. 






sending  ont  huge  masses  of  steam,  causing  a  general  stampede  of  our 
company,  driving  us  some  distance  from  our  point  of  observation. 
When  within  about  40  feet  of  the  surface,  it  became  stationary,  and 
we  returned  to  look  down  upon  it.  It  was  foaming  and  surging  at  a 
terrible  rate,  occasionally  emitting  small  jets  of  hot  water  nearly  to  the 
mouth  of  the  orifice.  All  at  once  it  seemed  seized  with  a  fearful  spasm, 
and  rose  with  incredible  rapidity,  hardly  affording  us  time  to  liee  to  a 
safe  distance,  when  it  burst  from  the  orifice  with  terrific  momentum, 
rising  in  a  column  the  full  size  of  this  immense  aperture  to  the  height 
of  60  feet;  and  through  and  out  of  the  apex  of  this  vast  aqueous 
mass,  five  or  six  lesser  jets  or  round  columns  of  water,  varying  in 
size  from  6  to  15  inches  in  diameter,  were  projected  to  the  marvelous 
height  of  250  feet.  These  lesser  jets,  so  much  higher  than  the  main 
column,  and  shooting  through  it,  doubtless  proceed  from  auxiliary 
pipes  leading  into  the  principal  orifice  near  the  bottom,  where  the  explo- 
sive force  is  greater.  If  the  theory  that  water  by  constant  boiling  be- 
comes explosive  when  freed  from  air  be  true,  this  theory  rationally  ac- 
counts for  all  irregularities  in  the  erui^tions  of  the  geysers. 

Fig.  58. 


This  grand  eruption  continued  for  twenty  minutes,  and  was  the  most 
magnificent  sight  we  ever  witnessed.  We  were  standing  on  the  side  of 
the  geyser  nearest  the  sun,  the  gleams  of  which  filled  the  sparkling  col- 
umn of  water  and  spray  with  myriads  of  rainbows,  whose  arches  were 
constantly  changing — dipping  and  fluttering  hither  and  thither,  and 
disappearing  only  to  be  succeeded  by  others,  again  and  again,  amid  the 
aqueous  column,  while  the  minute  globules  into  which  the  spent  jets 
were  diffused  when  falling  sparkled  like  a  shower  of  diamonds,  and 
around  every  shadow  which  the  denser  clouds  of  vapor,  interrupting  the 
sun's  rays,  cast  upon  the  column,  could  be  seen  a  luminous  circle  radiant 
with  all  the  colors  of  the  prism,  and  resembling  the  halo  of  glory  repre- 
sented in  paintings  as  encircling  the  head  of  Divinity.  All  that  we 
had  previously  witnessed  seemed  tame  in  comparison  with  the  perfect 
grandeur  and  beauty  of  this  display.  Two  of  these  wonderful  eruptions 
occurred  during  the  twenty-two  hours  we  remained  in  the  valley.  This 
geyser  we  named  "The  Giantess."  (Fig.  59.) 



A  hundred  yards  distant  from  The 
symmetrical  bat  slightly  corrugated 
height  and  5  feet  in  diameter  at  its 



It  would  require  the  careful  study 
ble  circumstances  to  obtain  full  and 

Giantess  was  a  siliceous  cone,  very 
upon  its  exterior  surface,  3  feet  in 
base,  and  having  an  oval  orifice  24 
by  36 J  inches  in  diameter, 
with  scalloped  edges.  Not  one 
of  our  company  supposed  that 
it  was  a  gej^ser;  and  among  so 
i  many  wonders  it  had  almost 
1  escaped  notice.  While  we 
were  at  breakfast  upon  the 
morning  of  our  departure  a  col- 
umn of  water,  entirely  filling 
the  crater,  shot  from  it,  which, 
by  accurate  triangular  meas- 
urement, we  found  to  be  219 
feet  in  height.  The  stream  did 
not  deflect  more  than  four  or  degrees  from  a  vertical 
line,  and  the  eruption  lasted 
eighteen  minutes.  We  named 
it  "  The  Beehive."  (Fig.  Gd.) 

The  illustration  of  the  Gi- 
antess in  action,  for  the  use  of 
which  in  this  report,  I  am 
indebted  to  the  liberality  of  the 
editors  of  Scribner's  Montbly, 
shows  most  admirably  the  suc- 
cession of  impulses  by  which 
the  column  of  water  is  held  up, 
apparently  so  steadily  for  so 
long  a  time.  We  did  not  see  this 
wonderful  geyser  in  operation 
during  our  visit;  but  it  has 
been  so  graphically  described 
by  Mr.  Langford,  and  so  faith- 
fully depicted  by  Mr.  Moran, 
the  artist,  that  little  more  need 
be  added. 

The  Fan  Geyser  consists  of 
a  group  of  five  geysers,  which 
play  at  one  time,  throwing  the 
water  in  every  direction. 
There  is  one  quite  conspicuous 
cone,  marked  on  the  chart, 
Pyramid,  which  is  now  extinct, 
except  that  from  the  summit 
steam  is  constantly  escaping. 
This  has  been  a  geyser  of  some 
importance,  and  has  built  up 
a  structure  25  feet  high,  and 
100  feet  in  diameter  at  the  base. 
Near  it  is  a  quiet  spring  with  a 
most  elegantly  scalloped  rim. 
of  a  month  under  the  most  favora- 
clear  information  in  regard  to  all 




the  geysers  of  this  basin.    I  have  therefore  left  undescribed  many  as 
interesting  as  those  noticed  in  the  preceding  pages. 

On  our  return  to  the  lake  from  this  basin,  we  jjassed  up  the  Fire-Hole 
Eiver  to  its  source  in  the  divide.  Early  in  the  morning,  as  we  were 
leaving  the  valley,  the  grand  old  geyser  which  stands  sentinel  at  the 
head  of  the  valley  gave  us  a  magnificent  parting  display,  and  with  little 
or  no  preliminary  warning  it  shot  up  a  column  of  water  about  C  feet  in 
diameter  to  the  height  of  100  Fig.  60. 

to  150  feet,  and  by  a  succes- 
sion of  impulses   seemed  to 
hold  it  up  steadily  for  the 
space  of  fifteen  minutes,  the 
great  mass  of  water  falling 
directly  back  into  the  basin, 
and  flowing  over  the  edges 
and  down  the  sides  in  large 
streams.      When    the  action 
ceases,  the  water  recedes  be- 
yond  sight,  and  nothing   is 
heard  but  the  occasional  es- 
cape of  steam  until  another 
exhibition  occurs.    This  is  one 
of  the  most  accommodating 
geysers  in  the  basin,  and  during  our  stay  played  once  an  hour  quite 
regularly.    On  account  of  its  apparent  regularity,   and  its  position 
overlooking  the  valley,  it  was  called  by  Messrs.  Langford  and  Doane 
"Old  Faithful."    It  has  built  up  a  crater  about  20  feet  high  around  its 
base,  and  all  about  it  are  decorations  similar  to  those  previously  de- 

On  the  morning  of  August  6,  we 
ascended  the  mountains  at  the  head 
of  Fire-Hole  Eiver,  on  our  return  to 
the  hot-spring  camp  on  the  Yellow- 
stone Lake.  We  had  merely  caught 
a  glimpse  of  the  wonderful  physical 
phenomena  of  this  remarkable  val- 
ley. We  had  just  barely  gleaned  a 
few  of  the  surface  observations, 
which  only  sharpened  our  desire  for 
a  larger  knowledge.  There  is  no 
doubt  in  my  Diind  that  these  geysers 
are  more  powerful  at  certain  seasons 
of  the  year  than  at  others.  We  saw 
them  in  midsummer,  when  the  sur- 
face waters  are  greatly  diminished. 
In  the  spring,  at  the  time  of  the  melt- 
ing of  the  snows,  the  display  of  the 
first-class  geysers  must  be  more  fre- 
quent and  powerful.  Temperatures  may  vary  somewhat,  though  those 
given  on  the  chart  maybe  relied  on  as  correct.  We  left  this  valley, 
with  its  beautiful  scenery,  its  hot  springs  and  geysers,  with  great 

Mr.  Elliott  has  sketched  an  ideal  section  of  a  portion  of  the  Upper 
Geyser  Valley,  (Fig.  63,)  which  may  convey  a  clearer  conception  of 
the  way  in  which  we  may  suppose  the  waters  of  many  of  the  springs 
reach  the  surface.    The  lower  portion  of  the  section  is  basalt,  then  lake 

Fig, 61 

.      GEYSER   BASIN. 



or  local  drift  deposits,  and  thirdly  the  crust  of  silica  which  forms  a  floor  of 
greater  or  less  thickness  for  the  entire  valley. 

The  mountains  which  form  the  divide  between  the  sources  of  the 
Madison  and  the  Yellowstone  are  very  high  and  steep.  After  traveling 
about  8  miles,  we  came  to  the  nearly  vertical  sides  of  the  main  divide, 
which  is  composed  of  trachytic  basalt.  Immense  quantities  of  broken 
rocks  had  fallen  down  at  the  bottom  of  the  ridges.  Little  lakes  occur 
every  mile  or  so,  nestled  among  the  pines  9,000  and  10,000  feet  above 
the  sea.  At  the  head  of  Fire-Hole  we  ascended  a  steep  ridge,  with  al- 
most vertical  sides,  with  just  room  to  travel,  to  the  summit  of  the  divide. 

Fig.  62.  » 


From  this  point  we  could  look  back  and  obtain  a  full  view  of  the  Madi- 
son Yalley  with  its  branches,  and  the  high  volcanic  mountains  that 
inclose  it.  The  mountains  are  gashed  with  deep  gorges,  and  on  the 
sides  are  immense  quantities  of  the  fragments  of  trachyte  and  obsid- 
ian. The  pines  grow  upon  the  declivities  of  the  mountains  where  they  are 
so  steep  that  it  would  be  impossible  for  a  man  ever  to  ascend.  The  ele- 
vation of  what  appeared  to  be  the  highest  point  of  our  route  was  9,500  feet, 
but  the  general  elevation  of  the  mountain  summits  is  about  10,000  feet. 
It  is  only  in  exceptional  cases  that  isolated  peaks  rise  above  that  eleva- 
As  we  descended  the  mountains  on  the  east  side,  we  saw  through  the 





trees  what  we  thought  at  first  was  one  of  the  arms  of  the  Yellowstone 

Lake.    It  proved  to  be  Lake  Madison,  a  most  beautiful  sheet  of  water, 

set  like  a   gem   among  the  mountains,  with  the 

dense  pine  forests  extending  down  to  the  very 

shores.    A  ridge  or  promontory  extends  into  the 

lake  on  the  west  side  for  about  half  a  mile,  which 

gives  it  a  heart-shaped  form.    It  is  about  three 

miles  from  north  to  south,  and  two  from  east  to 

west.    The  shores  of  the  lake  are  paved    with 

masses  of  trachyte  and  obsidian. 

Leaving  Madison  Lake,  we  crossed  a  second 
high  basaltic  ridge,  and  descended  into  the  drain- 
age of  the  Yellowstone.  Dense  pine  forests,  with 
here  and  there  open  grassy  glades,  deep  gullies 
which  seemed  to  have  no  water  except  during  the 
melting  of  the  snows  in  spring,  occur  everywhere. 
Old  hot-spring  deposits  occur  here  and  there,  cov- 
ering limited  areas.  We  camped  at  night  on  the 
shore  of  a  lake  which  seemed  to  have  no  outlet. 
It  is  simply  a  depression  Avhich  receives  the 
drainage  of  the  surrounding  hills.  It  is  marshy 
around  the  shores,  and  the  surface  is  covered 
thickly  with  the  leaves  and  flowers  of  a  large 
yellow  lily.  The  wdter  is  not  clear  and  cold  like  that 
of  the  other  mountain  lakes,  but  more  like  rain- 
water. The  vegetation  was  very  luxuriant  all 
over  these  lowlands,  and  the  flowers  were  abun- 
dant and  varied.  The  lake  was  about  two  miles 
long  and  one  wide,  and  it  is  doubtful  whether  it 
had  ever  been  observed  by  human  beings  before. 

The  following  morning  we  reached  our  camp  at 
the  hot  springs,  on  the  southwest  arm  of  the  Yel- 
lowstone Lake. 







As  an  appendix  to  this  chapter,  I  quote  a  few 
paragraphs  from  a  remarkably  interesting  though 
scarce  volume,  entitled  "  New  Zealand :  its  Physi- 
cal Geography,  Geology,  and  Natural  History,"  by 
Dr.  Ferdinand  von  Hochstetter.  The  hot  springs 
and  geysers  of  New  Zealand  are  so  similar  to 
those  in  the  Yellowstone  Basin,  and  scarcely  less 
inferior  in  interest,  that  I  gladly  call  attention  to 
this  most  interesting  and  instructive  work.  The 
origin  of  these  hot  springs  is  undoubtedly  the 
same  all  over  the  world.  Those  in  Iceland  have 
been  studied  by  the  ablest  scientific  men  from  all  piV' 
portions  of  the  world.  ~^' 

The  second  extract  is  from  a  very  able  work  by 
Professor  Gustave  Bischof,  "  Eesearches  into  the 
•Internal  Heat  of  the  Globe,"  (page  225.)  These  ex- 
tracts will  serve  to  convey  the  opinions  of  eminent 
scientific  men  who  have  made  the  subject  of  hot  springs  a  special  study. 



"  Botli  binds  of  springs  owe  their  origin  to  the  water  permeating  the 
surface  and  sinking  through  fissures  into  the  bowels  of  the  earth,  where 
it  becomes  heated  by  the  still  existing  volcanic  fires.  High-pressure 
steam  is  thus  generated,  which,  accompanied  by  volcanic  gases,  such 
as  muriatic  acid,  sulphurous  acid,  sulphureted  hydrogen,  and  carbonic 
acid,  rises  again  toward  the  colder  surface,  and  is  there  condensed  into 
hot  water.  The  over-heated  steam,  however,  and  the  gases  decompose 
the  rock  beneath,  dissolve  certain  ingredients,  and  deposit  them  on  the 
surface.  According  to  Bunsen's  ingenious  observations,  a  chronological 
succession  takes  place  in  the  co-operation  of  the  gases.  The  sulphurous 
acid  acts  first.  It  must  be  generated  there  where  rising  sulphur  vapor 
comes  into  contact  with  glowing  masses  of  rock.  Wherever  vapors  of 
sulphurous  acid  are  constantly  formed,  there  acid  springs,  or  solfataras, 
arise.  Incrustations  of  alum  are  very  common  in  such  places,  arising 
from  the  action  of  sulphuric  acid  on  the  alumina  and  alkali  of  the  lavas ; 
another  product  of  the  decomposition  of  the  lavas  is  gypsum,  or  sulphate 
of  lime,  the  residuum  being  a  more  or  less  ferruginous  fumarole  clay,  the 
material  of  the  mud-pools.  To  the  sulphurous  acid  comes  sulphureted 
hydrogen,  produced  by  the  action  of  steam  upon  sulphides,  and  by  the 
mutual  decomposition  of  the  sulj)hureted  hydrogen  and  sulphurous 
acid,  sulphur  is  formed,  which  in  all  solfataras  forms  the  characteristic 
precipitate,  while  the  decomposition  of  siliceous  incrustations  is  either 
entirely  wanting  or  quite  inconsiderable,  and  a  smell  of  sulphureted 
hydrogen  is  but  rarely  noticed.  These  acid  springs  have  no  periodical 
outbursts  of  water. 

*'  In  course  of  time,  however,  the  source  of  sulphurous  acid  becomes 
exhausted,  and  sulphureted  hydrogen  alone  remains  active.  The  acid 
reaction  of  the  soil  disapiiears,  yielding  to  an  alkaline  reaction  by  the 
formation  of  sulphides.  At  the  same  time,  the  action  of  carbonic  acid 
begins  upon  the  rocks,  and  the  alkaline  bicarbonates  thus  produced 
dissolve  the  silica,  which,  on  the  evaporation  of  the  water,  deposits  in 
the  form  of  opal,  or  quartz,  or  siliceous  earth,  and  thus  the  shell  of  the 
springs  is  formed,  upon  the  structure  of  which  the  periodicity  of  the 
outbursts  depends.  Professor  Bunsen,  rejecting  the  antiquated  theory 
of  Makenzie,  based  upon  the  existence  of  subterraneous  chambers,  from 
which  the  water,  from  time  to  time,  is  pressed  up  through  the  vapors 
accumulating  on  its  surfacfe,  according  to  the  principle  of  the  Hern 
fountain,  has  proved  in  the  case  of  the  great  geyser  that  the  periodical 
eruptions  or  explosions  essentially  depend  upon  the  existence  of  a  frame 
of  siliceous  deposits,  with  a  deep,  flue-shaped  tube,  and  upon  the  sudden 
development  of  larger  masses  of  steam  from  the  overheated  water  in 
the  lower  portions  of  the  tube.  The  deposition  of  silica  in  quantities  suf- 
ficient for  the  formation  of  this  spring  apparatus  in  the  course  of  years 
takes  place  only  in  the  alkaline  springs.  Their  water  is  either  entirely 
neutral  or  has  a  slightly  alkaline  reaction.  Silica,  chloride  of  sodium, 
carbonates,  and  sulphates  are  the  chief  ingredients  dissolved  in  it.  In 
the  place  of  sulphurous  acid  the  odor  of  sulphureted  hydrogen  is  some- 
times observed  in  these  springs. 

"  Therocks,  from  which  the  siliceous  hot-springs  of  New  Zealand  derive 
their  silica,  are  rhyolites,  and  rhy  olithic  tufas,  containing  seventy  and  more 
per  cent,  of  silica ;  while  we  know  that  in  Iceland  palagonite,  and  pal- 
agonitic  tufas,  with  fifty  per  cent,  of  silica,  are  considered  as  the  material 
acted  upon  and  lixiviated  by  the  hot  water.  By  the  gradual  cooling  of 
the  volcanic  rocks  "under  the  surface  of  the  earth  in  the  course  of  cen- 


turies  the  hot  springs  also  will  gradually  disappear ;  for  they  too  are 
but  a  transient  phenomenon  in  the  eternal  change  of  everything  cre- 
ated."— (Hochstetter's  New  Zealand,  English  translation,  p.  432.) 


OF   THE   aLOBE.-' 

"  No  doubt  can  be  entertained  respecting  the  nature  of  the  agent  by 
which  the  waters  of  the  geyser,  the  Strokr,  and  other  less  considerable 
springs,  are  thrown  to  such  an  immense  height.  It  is,  as  in  volcanoes,  a 
gaseous  body,  principally  aqueous  vapor.  We  may,  therefore,  very 
fairly  agree  with  Krug  Von  JSTidda,  and  consider  volcanoes  in  the  same 
light  as  intermittent  springs,  with  this  difference  only,  that  instead  of 
water,  they  throw  out  melted  matters. 

"  He  takes  it  for  granted  that  these  hot  springs  derive  their  temper- 
ature from  aqueous  vapors  rising  from  below.  When  these  vapors  are 
able  to  rise  freely  in  a  continual  column,  the  water  at  the  different 
depths  must  have  a  constant  temperature,  equal  to  that  at  which  water 
would  boil  under  the  pressure  existing  at  the  respective  depths ;  hence 
the  constant  ebullition  of  the  permanent  springs  and  their  boiling  heat. 
If,  on  the  other  hand,  the  vapors  be  prevented  by  the  complicated 
windings  of  its  channels  from  rising  to  the  surface ;  if,  for  example,  they 
be  arrested  in  caverns,  the  temperature  in  the  upper  layers  of  water  must 
necessarily  become  reduced,  because  alarge  quantity  of  it  islost  by  evapo- 
ration at  the  surface,  which  cannot  be  replaced  from  below.  And  any 
circulation  of  the  layers  of  water  at  different  temperatures,  by  reason, 
of  their  unequal  specific  gravities,  seems  to  be  very  much  interrupted 
by  the  narrowness  and  sinuosity  of  the  passage.  The  intermitting 
springs  of  Iceland  are  probably  caused  by  the  existence  of  caverns,  in . 
which  the  vapor  is  retained  by  the  pressure  of  the  column  of  water  in 
the  channel  which  leads  to  the  surface.  Here  this  vapor  collects,  and 
presses  the  water  in  the  cavern  downward  until  its  elastic  force  becomes 
sufficiently  great  to  effect  a  passage  through  the  column  of  water  which 
confines  it.  .  The  violent  escape  of  the  vapor  causes  the  thunder-like 
subterranean  sound  and  the  trembling  of  the  earth  which  precedes 
each  eruption.  The  vapors  do  not  appear  at  the  surface  till  they  have 
heated  the  water  to  their  own  temperature.  When  so  much  vapor  has 
escaped  that  the  expansive  force  of  that  which  remains  has  become  less 
than  the  pressure  of  the  confining  column  of  water,  tranquillity  is  re- 
stored, and  this  lasts  until  such  a  quantity  of  vapor  is  again  collected 
as  to  produce  a  fresh  eruption.  The  spouting  of  the  spring  is  therefore 
repeated  at  intervals,  depending  upon  the  capacity  of  the  cavern,  the 
height  of  the  column  of  water,  and  the  heat  generated  below." 

The  various  groups  of  mud-springs,  or  salses,  which  are  described  in 
the  preceding  chapter  are  scarcely  less  interesting  and  instructive  than 
the  geysers.  The  following  analyses  of  the  sediment,  by  Professor 
Augustus  Steitz,  of  Montana,  for  Mr.  Langford,  will  be  useful  for  com- 
parison. The  reader  is  also  referred  to  the  report  of  Dr.  A.  0.  Peale 
in  this  volume.  I  have  appended  a  few  analyses  of  the  hot-spring 
deposits  from  New  Zealand,  from  the  interesting  work  of  Dr.  Hoch- 

9  G  s 



Analyses  of  mud  or  sediment  from  mud-springs. 
White  sediment.  Lavender  sediment.  Pink  sediment. 

Silica 42.2 

Magnesia 33. 4 

Lime 17.8 

Alkalies.. 6.6 


Silica 28.2 

Alumina 58.6 

Boracic  acid 3.2 

Oxide  of  iron 0. 6 

Oxide  of  calcinm 4.2 

Water  and  loss 5. 2 


Silica 32.6 

AliTmina 52.  4 

Oxide  of  calcium 8. 3 

Soda  and  potassa 4. 2 

Water  and  loss. 2.5 

100. 0 

Siliceous  deposits  of  hot  springs,  on  the  shores  of  the  Botomahana,  New  Zealand,  analyzed  iy 

.  Mr.  Mayer. 

[No.  1,  Tetarata,  two  samples,  a,  an  earthy,  powdery  mass  j  b,  solidified  incrustation  ;  No.  2,  Nagahapu; 
No.  3,  Whatapoho ;  No.  4,  Otukapuarangi.] 


Water  and  organic  substances 

Sesquioxide  of  iron ^ 

Alumina 5 










I   2.99 

I  0.64 



?  Slight  in- 

5  dication. 

?  Slight  in- 
i    dication. 

I,  Pattisou  (Philos.  Magazine,  1844,  p.  495)  and,  II,  Mallet  (Philos. 
Magazine  1,  853,,  jd.  285)  give  the  following  analyses  of  the  siliceous  de- 
posits on  the  hot  springs  of  Lake  Taupo,  without,  however,  specifying 
the  localities : 

I.  II. 

Silica -■ 77.35  94.20 

Alumina 9.70  1.58 

Sesquioxide  of  iron 3.72  0.17 

Lime 1. 54  Indication. 

Chloride  of  sodium 0.  85 

Water 7.66  3.06 

99.97  99.86 

Specific  gravity , 1.968  2.031 



We  were  joined  at  our  Hot  Spring  camp  by  Lieutenant  Gr.  0.  Doane, 
who  had  visited  this  region  the  previous  year  in  company  with  Messrs. 
Washburn  and  Langford.  Captain  Tyler  and  Lieutenant  Grugan  had 
been  ordered  to  return,  with  most  of  the  escort,  to  Fort  Ellis,  and  they 
were  already  on  their  way  to  the  post  by  way  of  the  Madison  Valley. 
We  remained  here  for  a  day  or  two,  studying  the  hot  springs  and  rest- 
ing our  animals.  From  this  point  Messrs.  Elliott  and  Carrington  com- 
menced the  survey  of  the  shore-line  of  the  lake  with  our  useful  little 
bark,  the  Anna.  They  were  absent  seven  days,  and  during  the  time 
sailed  around  the  entire  shore-line,  about  one  hundred  and  seventy-five 


miles,  sketching  every  bay  or  indentation,  as  well  as  the  mountains  that 
inclose  it.  The  topographical  survey  was  continued  around  the  south 
and  west  shores  of  the  lake  with  perfect  success.  A  series  of  careful 
observations  for  elevations  were  taken  at  all  our  permanent  camps,  as 
well  as  at  other  suitable  localities ;  so  that  the  height  of  the  lake  above 
the  sea  may  be  regarded  as  very  accarately  attained. 

A  small  x)arty  in  charge  of  Mr.  Stevenson  returned  from  Hot  Spring 
camp  to  Bottler's  Eanch,  by  way  of  the  west  side  of  the  lake,  to  obtain 
additional  supplies.  On  the  evening  of  August  9,  we  camped  at  the  head 
of  the  main  bay,  west  of  Flat  Mountain.  Our  hunters  returned,  after 
diligent  search  for  two  and  a  half  days,  with  only  a  black-tailed  deer, 
which,  though  poor,  was  a  most  important  addition  to  our  larder.  It 
seems  that  during  the  months  of  August  and  September  the  elk  and 
deer  resort  to  the  summits  of  the  mountains,  to  escape  from  the  swarms 
of  flies  in  the  lowlands  about  the  lake.  Tracks  of  game  could  be  seen 
everywhere,  but  none  of  the  animals  themselves  were  to  be  found. 
Our  course  around  the  lake  was  intended  to  follow  the  shore  as  far  as 
possible.  We  made  our  way  among  the  dense  pines  or  over  the  fallen 
timber,  sometimes  in  grassy  glades,  through  marshes,  or  by  lily-cov- 
ered lakes.  The  little  streams,  which  are  at  this  season  mostly  dry, 
have  worn  deep  gullies  through  the  superficial  beds,  showing  the  old 
lake  deposits  to  have  been  from  200  to  600  feet  in  thickness. 

At  sunrise  on  the  morning  of  August  10,  at  the  west  base  of  Flat  Moun- 
tain, the  thermometer  stood  at  15^°,  and  water  was  frozen  in  my  tent  one- 
fourth  of  an  inch  thick.  The  rocks  of  Eed  Mountain  are  trachyte,  with 
a  purplish  tinge,  quite  hard,  and  somewhat  spotted  and  banded.  Some 
portions  of  the  mountain  are  very  red,  and  from  this  fact  it  derives  its 
name.  Those  of  Flat  Mountain  are  the  same  in  texture  and  color.  From 
the  summit  of  Flat  Mountain  we  had  an  excellent  view  of  the  lake.  Three 
islands  were  visible,  one  of  them  quite  small,  200  yards  long,  covered 
with  i^ine  timber.  It  is  really  an  elevated  ridge  of  sand.  The  other 
two  are  about  a  mile  in  length,  also  covered  with  a  dense  growth  of  pines. 
Along  the  shores  of  these  islands  are  bluff  banks  of  stratified  volcanic 
sand,  50  feet  high.  All  these  islands  are  probably  elevated  portions  of 
the  old  lake-bed,  which  have  gradually  risen  above  the  surface  as  the 
waters  of  the  present  lake  diminish.  To  the  westward  a  still  higher 
range  can  be  seen,  and  near  it  Heart  Lake,  and  still  further  west  Mad- 
ison Lake,  embosomed  among  the  mountains.  On  the  long  points  or 
fingers,  as  it  were,  that  extend  out  into  the  lake,  are  several  small  lily- 
ponds,  and  open  meadow-spaces,  covered  with  thick  grass.  The  general 
view,  however,  consists  of  an  outer  range  or  rim  of  volcanic  peaks,  from 
10,000  to  11,000  feet  high,  with  the  inner  portions,  or  belt  of  lower  hills 
and  ridges,  black  with  the  dense  forests  of  pine,  but  relieved  here  and 
there  by  a  small  lake,  or  an  open  meadow  glade.  The  altitude  of  Flat 
Mountain  is  9,704  feet. 

From  this  high  point,  with  the  grand  basin  spread  out  before  us,  we 
may  again  ask  a  question  in  regard  to  its  origin.  On  all  sides,  and 
among  the  foot-hills,  the  debris^  which  consist  of  fragments  of  trachyte, 
are  enormous.  Steps  produced  by  slides  can  be  seen  most  clearly  by 
looking  over  the  dark  mass  of  pines.  We  still  believe  that  the  basin 
was  at  first  a  depression,  produced,  b^'-  the  action  of  the  volcanic  forces 
which  built  up  the  surrounding  groups  of  mountain  peaks,  and  formed 
a  reservoir  for  their  drainage,  but  that  it  is  also  due  in  part  to  erosion. 
A  vast  amount  of  material  has  been  ground  up  by  the  waters  of  the  lake 
from  the  sides  of  the  basin,  to  form  the  extensive  modern  deposit  which 
we  meet  with  everywhere. 


Leaving  our  camp  at  Flat  Mountain,  we  ascended  the  high  hills, 
among  the  fallen  timber,  taking  a  course  about  southeast,  passed  over 
the  divide,  and  at  night  found  ourselves  on  the  head- waters  of  Snake 
Eiver.  The  rocks,  as  usual,  were  trachytic  basalt,  for  the  most  part ;  but  • 
in  ascending  the  divide  from  the  Yellowstone  Lake,  we  find  Carboniferous 
limestones,  with  the  accompanying  clays,  in  one  locality.  Examples  of 
the  exfoliation  of  the  igneous  rocks  are  very  common. 

Between  Flat  Mountain  and  the  Yellowstone  Eange  the  divide  is  very 
low.  The  sources  of  some  of  the  branches  of  Snake  Eiver  extend  up 
within  two  miles  of  the  lake,  and  the  elevation  is  not  more  than  400  feet 
above  the  lake  level.  This  is  what  has  been  hitherto  understood  as 
"  Two  Ocean  Pass."  The  separation  of  the  drainage  between  the 
Yellowstone  Basin  and  Snake  Eiver  is  complete.  The  valley  of  Snake 
Eiver  is  very  pleasantly  diversified  with  meadow -like  openings  and 
dense  forests  of  pines.  Some  of  these  glades  are  two  to  four  miles  long 
and  one  to  two  miles  wide.  This  transition  from  forest  to  meadow  con- 
tinues all  along  the  river  and  its  branches,  from  their  sources  to  the 
junction  with  the  Columbia. 

From  our  camp  on  Snake  Eiver,  we  traveled  north  of  east  to  the  shores 
of  the  lake.  The  broad  lowlands  are  most  pleasantly  diversified  with 
groves  of  i)ines  and  fine  grassy  meadows,  and  numbers  of  streams,  some 
of  which  were  of  considerable  size,  flowed  from  the  mountains  into  the 
lake.  One  of  these  creeks  was  75  feet  wide  and  2  feet  deep.  All 
the  rocks  we  met  with  were  basalt  and  basaltic  breccia.  The  Yellowstone 
Eange,  so  far  as  I  could  examine  it,  was  composed  of  breccia,  though  it 
undoubtedly  contains  a  nucleus  of  trachyte ;  for  the  masses  of  it,  which 
could  not  have  been  transported  far,  were  scattered  over  the  surface. 
We  crossed  the  marshy  valley  of  the  Upper  Yellowstone,  which  is  about 
three  miles  wide,  and  pitched  our  tents  upon  a  sort  of  terrace  on  the 
east  side  of  the  southeast  arm,  80  feet  above  the  water-level  of  the  lake. 
From  this  point  we  made  a  small  side  trij)  to  the  source  of  the  Upper  Yel- 
lowstone, and  thence  to  the  sources  of  the  Snake  Eiver.  The  entire  region 
is  one  of  great  interest.  On  the  morning  of  August  12, 1  started  up  the 
valley  of  the  Upper  Yellowstone,  accompanied  by  Messrs.  Doaue  and 
Schonborn,  for  the  i)urpose  of  makiug^  a  careful  geological  as  well  as 
topographical  survey  of  the  district  bordering  th.6  great  divide.  Five 
streams  of  water  flow  into  the  Upper  Yellowstone  from  the  mountains  on 
either  side  of  the  head  of  the  vallej',  and  at  this  season  of  the  year  the  veg- 
etation is  fresh,  green,  and  most  abundant.  It  would  be  difficult  to  find  a 
valley  in  the  West  that  presents  as  fine  a  picture  to  the  eye.  On  either 
side,  the  valley,  which  is  about  three  miles  wide,  is  walled  in  by  dark,  som- 
ber rocks  of  volcanic  origin,  which  have  been  weathered  into  remarkable 
architectural  forms.  Looking  up  the  valley  from  some  high  point,  one 
could  almost  imagine  that  he  was  iu  the  presence  of  the  ruins  of  some 
gigantic  city,  so  much  like  old  castles,  cathedrals  of  every  age  and  clime, 
do  these  rocks  appear ;  add  to  this,  the  singular  vertical  furrows  which 
are  cut  deep  into  the  sides  and  render  more  striking  their  antiquated  ap- 
pearance. At  the  base  of  the  wall-like  ridges  of  the  valley,  immense 
masses  of  volcanic  breccia  have  fallen  down  from  the  mountain-tops,  in 
many  instances  crushing  down  the  pines  along  their  path.  About  fifteen 
miles  above  the  lake  the  valley  terminates  abruptly,  the  mountains 
rising  like  walls,  and  shutting  off  the  country  beyond.  The  river  here 
separates  into  three  main  branches,  with  here  and  there  smaller  ones, 
which  bring  the  aggregated  waters  of  the  melted  snows  from  the  sum- 
mits of  their  bare  volcanic  peaks.  Just  at  the  head  of  the  valley  there 
is  a  little  lake,  but  not  more  than  one  or  two  hundred  yards  in  width. 


The  lake  which  has  been  placed  on  the  maps  as  Bridger's  Lake  has  no 
real  existence. 

From  the  head  of  the  main  valley  we  ascended  the  mountains  on  the 
west  side,  and  from  the  summit  of  a  high  jjeak  the  whole  hasin  with 
the  divide  was  brought  within  the  scope  of  our  vision.  As  far  as  the 
eye  could  reach  on  every  side,  bare,  bald  peaks,  domes,  ridges  in  great 
numbers  coidd  be  seen.  At  least  one  hundred  peaks,  worthy  of  a  name, 
could  be  located  within  the  radius  of  our  vision.'  The  rocks  everywhere, 
though  massive,  black,  and  deeply  furrowed  vertically,  have  the  appear- 
ance of  horizontal  stratification.  In  some  instances  the  furrows  are  so 
regular  that  the  breccia  has  a  columnar  appearance.  The  summits  of  the 
mountains  are  entirely  composed  of  breccia.  Angular  masses  of  trachyte, 
10  to  30  feet  in  diameter,  are  inclosed  in  the  volcanic  cement.  Most  of  the 
fragments  are  small,  varying  from  an  inch  to  several  feet,  seldom  much 
worn.  We  camped  at  night  near  a  small  lake,  by  the  side  of  a  bank  of 
snow,  10,000  feet  above  the  sea,  with  the  short  spring  grass  and  flowers 
all  around  us.  There  are  but  two  seasons  on  these  mountain  summits, 
spring  and  winter.  In  August  the  fresh  new  grass  may  be  seen  spring- 
ing up  where  a  huge  bank  of  snow  has  disappeared.  The  little  spring- 
flowers,  seldom  more  than  one  or  two  inches  high,  cover  the  ground ; 
Clatonia^  Viola,  Ranunculus,  and  many  others.  The  following  morning 
we  traveled  for  several  miles  along  a  ridge  not  more  than  two  hundred 
yards  wide,  from  one  side  of  which  the  waters  flowed  into  the  Pacific, 
and  on  the  other,  into  the  Atlantic.  To  the  westward  the  outlines  of  the 
Teton  Eange,  with  its  saw-like  or  shark-teeth  summits,  were  most  clearly 
visible.  They  seemed  to  be  covered  with  an  unusual  quantity  of  snow. 
From  whatever  point  of  view  one  can.  see  the  Teton  Eange,  the  sharp- 
pointed  peaks  have  the  form  of  huge  sharks'  teeth.  To  the  southward,  for 
fifty  miles  at  least,  nothing  but  igneous  rocks  can  be  seen.  Toward  the 
Tetohs  there  is  a  series  of  high  ridges,  of  which  the  Teton  Range  seemed 
to  be  the  central  one.  These  ridges,  which  pass  off  from  the  main  Teton 
Range,  incline  to  the  northeast,  and  vary  in  height  from  9,500  to  10,500 
feet  above  the  sea-level,  and  1,000  to  1,800  feet  above  the  valleys  at  their 

We  ascended  one  of  the  high  ridges,  (not  the  highest,  however,)  and 
found  it  to  be  1,650  feet  above  the  valley  at  its  foot.  The  northeast 
side  is  like  a  steep  roof,  while  the  southwest  side  breaks  off  abruptly. 
From  the  summit  of  the  ridge,  the  view  is  grand  in  the*  extreme.  To 
the  westward  the  entire  country,  for  the  distance  of  fifty  miles,  seems  to 
have  been  thrown  up  into  high,  sharp  ridges,  with  gorges  1,000  to  1,500 
feet  in  depth.  Beautiful  lakes,  grassy  meadows  also,  come  within  the 
vision.  I  can  conceive  of  no  more  wonderful  and  attractive  region  for 
the  explorer.  It  would  not  be  difficult  for  the  traveler  to  make  his  way 
among  these  grand  gorges,  penetrating  every  valley,  and  ascending 
every  mountain  or  ridge.  The  best  of  grass,  wood,  water,  and  game  are 
abundant  to  supply  the  wants  of  himself  or  animals. 

I  think  that  numerous  passes  could  be  found  from  the  valley  of  Snake 
River  to  the  basin  of  the  Yellowstone.  It  seems  to  me  there  are  many 
points  on  the  south  rim  of  the  basin  where  a  road  could  be  made  with 
ease  into  the  valley  of  Snake  River.  From  this  ridge  it  would  seem  that 
there  could  be  but  little  difference  in  the  altitude  of  the  Yellowstone  Lake 
and  Heart  Lake,  and  they  cannot  be  more  than  eight  or  ten  miles  apart, 
and  yet  the  latter  is  one  of  the  sources  of  Snake  River.  The  little 
l3ranches  of  Snake  River  nearly  interlace  with  some  streams  that  flow 
into  the  lake,  and  the  gullies  come  up  within  two  miles  of  the  shore-line. 


There  is  a  very  narrow  dividing  ridge  in  one  place,  between  tlie  drain- 
age, which  may  be  within  one  mile  of  the  lake. 

As  we  have  stated  in  the  previous  pages  of  this  report,  the  rocks  of  this 
basin  are  mostly  volcanic,  but  on  the  south  side  of  the  divide,  between  the 
Yellowstone  and  the  sources  of  the  Snake,  the  series  of  ridges  extending 
southward  to  the  Tetons  are  largely  sedimentary.  Carboniferous  lime- 
stones occupy  restricted  areas,  while  some  of  the  highest  ridges  are  made 
up  of  Cretaceous  and  Tertiary  strata.  One  ridge,  the  summit  of  which 
was  over  10,000  feet  above  the  sea,  and  overlooks  the  country  for  fifty 
miles  in  every  direction,  is  the  exact  dividing  ridge  which  separates  the 
drainage  of  the  two  basins.  On  the  summit  and  north  side  of  the  ridge 
the  rocks  were  smooth,  as  if  vast  masses  of  snow  and  ice  had  slidden 
down  for  ages.  The  rocks  are  composed  of  somber-brown  and  rusty 
grayish-brown  sandstones,  in  which  I  found  great  quantities  of  leaves 
of  deciduous  trees.  There  was  one  fern  and  a  palm  of  huge  dimensions. 
Erom  these  exposures  of  the  sedimentary  beds,  I  draw  the  same  conclu- 
sion that  I  have  done  so  many  times  previously,  that  the  unchanged  rocks 
either  now  exist  or  have  existed  all  over  the  Northwest ;  that  they  may 
have  been  removed  by  erosion,  concealed  by  overflows  of  igneous  mate- 
rial, or  thrown  uj)  into  ridges ;  but  the  one  final  conclusion  is,  that  they 
extended  all  over  the  region  about  the  sources  of  these  great  rivers,  in 
a  horizontal  position,  at  a  comparatively  recent  geological  period. 

On  our  return  to  the  east  side  of  the  lake  from  the  sources  of  Snake 
River,  we  followed  down  the  valley  of  a  little  stream  that  has  its  origin 
at  the  foot  of  the  ridge.  As  it  flowed  toward  the  lake,  it  cut  a  deep  chan- 
nel into  the  lake  deposits,  sometimes  50  to  100  feet,  well  illustrating  the 
character  of  the  materials.  It  was  composed  at  the  bottom  of  grayish- 
white  clays,  passing  up  into  a  sort  of  bowlder  deposit,  all  derived  from 
the  degradation  of  volcanic  rocks. 

We  may  here  discuss  for  a  moment,  in  general  terms,  the  geolo- 
gical character  of  the  mountains  on  the  east  side  of  the  lake.  The 
Upper  Yellowstone  Eiver  rises  in  the  high  volcanic  range  which  shuts 
oft"  the  Yellowstone  Basin  from  the  Wind  Eiver  drainage,  forming 
what' is  usually  called  the  great  water-shed  of  the  continent.  The 
range  of  mountains  on  the  east  and  south  sides  of  the  Yellowstone 
Basin  gives  origin  to  the  waters  of  the  Snake  Eiver,  which  flow  west 
into  the  Pacific,  to  those  of  Green  Eiver,  which  flow  southward  into 
the  Great  ColQrado,  and  to  the  numerous  branches  of  the  Yellowstone. 
Upon  the  east  and  southeast  sides,  the  mountains  seem  to  be  entirely 
of  volcanic  origin;  they  are  also  among  the  ruggedest  and  most  inac- 
accessible  ranges  on  the  continent.  From  the  valley  of  Wind  Eiver 
they  present  a  nearly  vertical  wall  from  1,500  to  2,000  feet  high,  which 
has  never  been  scaled  by  white  man  or  Indian;  but  are  covered  with 
perpetual  snows  to  a  greater  or  less  extent.  From  any  high  point  a 
chaotic  mass  of  peaks  of  every  variety  of  form  may  be  seen  extending 
from  the  Snake  Eiver  Yalley  to  the  lower  canon  of  the  Yellowstone. 
The  general  level  of  the  summits  is  about  10,000  feet,  but  some  of  the 
higher  x^eaks  reach  10,500  to  11,000  feet.  Many  of  them  are  the  nuclei 
of  old  volcanic  cones,  composed  of  very  compact  .trachyte;  others  are 
portions  of  the  rim  of  a  vast  crater.  Mounts  Doane  and  Stevenson  are 
fragments  of  the  rim  of  an  immense  crater,  the  layers  of  trachyte  inclin- 
ing from  the  basin  on  every  side;  some  of  the  centers  of  effusion  were 
long  fissures,  forming  ridges.  All  around  these  nuclei,  and  sometimes 
reaching  nearly  to  the  summits,  are  the  volcanic  conglomerates  or  brec- 
cias in  horizontal  strata.  Even  the  highest  x)ortions  of  the  mountains, 
the  broad  ridges  that  form  the  very  water-shed,  are  composed  oi  these 


breccias,  and  it  is  quite  possible  that  they  even  conceal  the  great  mass 
of  compact  trachyte  rocks.  At  any  rate,  so  far  as  the  eye  can  reach, 
the  true  trachyte  rocks  are  exposed  only  in  the  form  of  cones,  here  and 
there,  while  the  great  mass  on  the  surface  is  the  breccia.  They  are 
continually  disintegrating,  so  that  all  over  the  sides  of  the  mountains 
and  among  the  foot-hills  there  are  immense  quantities  of  c?e&ns ;  not 
un  frequently  huge  masses  are  gradually  broken  off  from  the  sides  of  the 
mountains  by  the  combined  action  of  water  and  ice,  leaving  a  vertical 
wall  50  to  200  feet  or  more  in  height. 

From  our  camp  on  th^  east  side  of  the  lake,  we  ascended  Mounts 
Doane  and  Stevenson.  Between  the  lake  shore  and  the  summits  of 
these  peaks,  there  is  a  succession  of  ridges,  which  measured  8,500,  8,800, 
9,000,  9,200,  9,400  feet,  &c.  These  peaks,  with  an  intermediate  lower 
portion,  form  a  part  of  the  rim  of  a  huge  crater,  and  on  the  inner  side 
the  layers  of  trachyte  appear  like  strata,  inclining  from  the  crater  lO^^. 
The  rocks  are  somewhat  varied  in  texture,  more  or  less  compact,  but 
mostly  very  compact  hornblende  trachyte.  Near  the  summit  the  rocks 
are  slightly  porous,  true  basalt,  as  if  they  had  not  been  subjected  to 
much  pressure.  Some  of  the  rocks  are  red  or  ashen-gray,  and  have  a 
slaty  cleavage;  the  volcanic  breccia  rises  to  the  height  of  2,000  to  2,500 
feet  above  the  lake. 

On  the  east  side,  the  proofs  of  the  former  elevation  of  the  lake  may 
be  seen  300  to  500  feet  high  on  the  sides  of  the  mountains.  The  little 
streams  that  cut  through  the  lower  hills,  along  the  borders  of  the  lake, 
expose  150  to  200  feet  of  stratified,  recent  deposits.  Near  Steam  Point 
the  waters  of  the  lake  have  washed  the  shores  for  two  or  three  miles, 
so  as  to  expose  100  to  150  feet  of  strata,  composed  of  volcanic  sand  and 
gravel  at  the  bottom,  passing  up  into  fine  sand,  and  at  the  top  consider- 
able thickness  of  coarse  sandstone  and  conglomerates.  All  these  modern 
deposits  have  been  permeated  and  in  part  cemented  with,  the  silica 
of  the  old  hot  springs.  We  have  said  enough  about  the  modern  lake 
deposits  to  establish  the  fact  that  they  are  worthy  of  attention,  and 
form  a  portion  of  the  geological  history  of  this  basin.  We  shall  only 
allude  to  them  hereafter  as  we  meet  them  in  our  travels. 

One  of  the  most  remarkable  localities  for  extinct  springs  is  on  the 
east  side  of  the  southeast  arm  of  the  lake,  at  the  head  of  Alum  Creek, 
and  marked  on  the  map  "Brimstone  Basin."  For  half  a  mile  before 
reaching  this  spot  the  air  is  filled  with  a  disagreeable  sulphurous  smell. 
The  deposit  is  mostly  silica,  though  there  is  a  good  deal  of  sulphur 
mingled  with  it.  In  the  bed  of  the  little  stream  that  passes  through 
the  basin  are  numerous  small  springs,  from  which  bubbles  of  gas  are 
constantly  escaping,  probably  sulphureted  hydrogen.  The  little  creek 
which  i)asses  through  the  basin  rises  in  the  higher  ridges  ten  miles  dis- 
tant, and,  as  it  passes  through  the  spring  deposit,  is  rendered  turbid 
like  milk.  The  channel  is  coated  with  a  creamy- white  material,  silica 
and  sulphur;  old  pine  logs,  which  must  once  have  formed  large  trees, 
now  lie  prostrate  in  every  direction  over  the  basin.  It  covers  an  area 
of  about  three  miles  in  extent,  and,  in  some  instances,  a  vertical  thick- 
ness of  50  feet  was  exposed.  Not  a  trace  of  any  spring  could  be  found 
■«eith  a  temperature  above  ordinary  spring- water.  From  all  appear- 
ances, this  basin  must  have  been  active  within  a  comparatively  modern 
period.  .  It  is  true,  however,  that  these  springs  are  continually  becoming- 
extinct,  and  have  done  so  ever  since  the  great  period  of  volcanic  activity 
in  this  region. 

The  hot-spring  district,  above  and  below  Steam  Point,  is  quite  inter- 
esting, as  showing  the  remains  of  what  was  once  a  very  important  group. 


The  hot  spring  area  extends  abont  five  miles  along  the  lake  shore,  and 
is  about  two  miles  wide.  Steam  Point  has  been,  at  one  time,  covered 
with  very  active  springs,  but  now  they  are  fast  becoming  extinct.  Two 
steam-vents  are  now  in  operation,  sending  forth  steam  with  a  noise 
like  that  of  the  escape-pipe  of  a  steamboat.  A  number  of  small  sim- 
mering springs  are  scattered  around  these  vents.  There  is  here  a  thick- 
ness-of  200  feet  of  conglomerate,  which  is  made  up  largely  of  hot-spring 
deposits.  The  lake  seems  to  have  beaten  against  the  shore,  and  worn 
away  a  large  portion,  leaving  a  bluff  wall  50  feet  high  above  water-level. 
A  large  mass  of  the  conglomerate  has  been  5ut  off  by  the  waves,  and 
left  in  the  lake  100  feet  from  the  bluff  shore.  South  of  Steam  Point, 
on  the  shore  of  the  lake,  are  about  twenty  or  thirty  springs  of  various 
temperatures,  from  110°  to  192°.  Some  are  quiet,  some  bubbling  quite 
briskly,  and  others  are  true  boiling  springs.  The  little  steam-vents  are 
lined  with  sulphur.  About  a  mile  east  of  the  point,  around  a  little  lake, 
there  is  an  extensive  group  of  springs.  The  ground  is  covered  with 
sulphur,  alum,  common  salt,  &c.,  tinged  with  oxide  of  iron.  Thick  de- 
posits of  silica,  often  tinged  with  oxide  of  iron  or  sulphur,  attest  the 
former  existence  of  a  much  larger  system  of  springs  than  we  find  herOk.  k 
at  the  present  time.  At  one  point,  in  the  bed  of  the  little  creek  that 
flows  into  the  small  lake,  which  is  10  feet  wide  and  2  feet  deep,  there  is 
a  large  spring  that  boils  up  very  fiercely,  and  yet  the  temperature  is  not 
above  that  of  the  water  of  the  creek  itself.  The  agitation  of  the  water 
must  be  due  to  the  escape  of  gas  alone.  At  Steamboat  Point,  and  around 
the  little  lake,  the  ground  is  in  places  perforated,  like  a  cullender,  with  the 
little  simmering  vents,  which  denote,  I  think,  the  last  stages  of  a  system 
of  larger  springs. 

Proceeding  southward  along  the  shore  of  the  lake,  we  meet  with 
the  springs  and  steam-vents,  in  greater  or  less  numbers,  scattered 
along  the  shore — 18G°,  183°,  185°,  178°  will,  perhaps,  give  the  aver- 
age temperatures — all  quiet,  bubbling,  or  boiling  springs.  Sul^jhur  Hills, 
on  the  north  side  of  the  lake,  is  another  of  the  magnificent  ruins,  of  which 
only  a  few  steam-vents  now  remain.  The  deposit,  however,  is  a  large 
one,  and  covers  the  side  of  the  mountain  for  an  elevation  of  600  feet 
along  the  lake  shore,  the  huge  white  mass  of  silica  covering  an  area 
of  about  half  a  mile  square,  and  can  be  seen  from  any  position  on  the 
lake  shore,  and  appears  in  the  distance  like  a  huge  bank  of  snow.^  In 
the  valley  near  Pelican  Creek,  a  few  springs  are  issuing  from  beneath 
the  crust,  distributing  their  waters  over  the  bottom,  and  depositing  the 
oxide  of  iron,  sulphur,  and  silica,  forming  the  most  beautiful  blending 
of  gay  colors.  Although  the  waters  of  the  springs  are  160°,  yet  the 
channels  are  lined  with  a  thick  growth  of  mosses  and  other  i)lants,  and  in 
the  water  is  an  abundance  of  vividly  green  algous  vegetation.  The  great 
mass  of  hot-spring  material  built  up  here  caniiot  be  less  than  400  feet 
in  thickness.  A  large  portion  of  it  is  pudding-stone  and  conglomerate. 
Some  of  the  rounded  masses  inclosed  in  the  flue  white  siliceous  cement 
are  themselves  pure  white  silica,  and  are  eight  inches  in  diameter.  It 
is  plain,  from  the  evidence  still  remaining,  that  this  old  ruin  has  been 
the  theater  of  tremendous  geyser  action  at  some  period  not  veiy  remote ; 
that  the  steam-vents,  which  are  very  numerous,  are  only  the  dying 
stages.  These  vents  or  chimneys  are  most  richly  adorned  with  brilliant 
yellow  sulphur,  sometimes  a  hard  amorphous  coating,  and  sometimes 
in  delicate  crystals  that  vanish  like  frost-work  at  the  touch.  It  seems 
that  it  is  during  the  last  stages  of  these  springs  that  they  adorn  them- 
selves with  their  brilliant  and  vivid  colors. 

We  will  now  bid  farewell  to  this  remarkable  lake-basin,  and,  taking  a 


northeasterly  course,  pass  up  the  valley  of  Pelican  Creek,  and  cross  the 
mountains  to  the  east  branch  of  the  Yellowstone.  We  have  endeavored 
to  explore  the  great  basin  with  all  the  care  that  our  time  and  facilities 
would  permit.  Much  has  been  left  undone,  but  we  feel  certain  that  we 
have  obtained  information  enough  to  convince  our  readers  that  the  region 
we  have  examined  is  invested  with  profound  interest.  We  have  explored, 
with  much  care  and  detail,  one  of  the  most  beautiful  lakes  in  the  known 
world.  Our  soundings,  which  are  expressed  on  the  chart  in  fathoms, 
show  that  its  greatest  depth  is  300  feet.  According  to  a  careful  series 
of  soundings  of  Great  Salt  Lake,  Utah,  by  Mr.  Dieffendorf,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  finding  the  deepest  channels  for  a  steamer,  the  average  depth 
is  only  about  12  feet,  while  the  greatest  depth  was  found  to  be  only  60 
feet,  and  that  was  between  Antelope  Island  and  Stansbury  Island. 

We  traveled  up  the  valley  of  Pelican  Creek  about  eighteen  miles.  Hot 
springs  were  scattered  along  the  bottom,  some  of  them  of  considerable 
size  and  beauty.  There  were  many  dead  and  dying  ones,  some  of 
which  indicated  great  age  j  the  immediate  bottom  is  incrusted  with 
the  silica.  The  average  width  of  the  valley  is  about  two  miles,  and  at 
this  season  of  the  year  (August  23)  the  grass  and  other  vegetation  is 
very  fresh  and  abundant.  If  it  were  not  for  the  elevation  and  climate, 
this  valley  would  soon  be  filled  with  enterprising,  thriving  ranchmen 
and  farmers.  The  valley  itself  is  underlaid  with  the  modern  lake 
deposits,  which  extend  up  almost  to  the  divide.  It  is  plain,  from  a  sys- 
tem of  terraces  more  or  less  distinct,  that  the  lake  once  extended  high 
up  the  vaUey,  and  that  the  fertility  of  the  soil  and  the  present 
exuberance  of  vegetation  are  due  to  this  fact.  The  broken  range  of 
hills  and  mountains  that  inclose  it  on  either  side  are  covered  with 
forests  of  pine,  and  the  rocks  are  entirely  of  volcanic  origin — the 
trachytes  and  conglomerate.  Ten  miles  up  the  creek  is  a  pretty  little 
cascade,  where  the  waters  pour  over  a  descent  of  15  feet,  which  is  formed 
of  stratified  sand  and  clay.  Above  the  cascade  there  is  a  wall  60  feet 
high,  composed  of  Pliocene  deposits.  From  the  divide  the  view  is  far 
extended  and  very  fine.  The  Grand  Caiion  of  the  -Yellowstone,  with  its 
group  of  hot  springs,  with  the  deep  side-caQons  that  lead  into  it,  and  the 
dense  forests  of  pines,  and  the  north  rim  of  the  basin,  with  the  bald, 
black  summits  of  the  volcanic  peaks  projecting  above  the  tree  vegetation, 
all  are  presented  to  the  eye  at  a  single  glance. 

We  camped  at  night  on  the  summit  of  the  divide,  between  the  valleys 
of  the  East  Fork  and  the  main  Yellowstone,  by  the  side  of  a  little  lake 
10,000  feet  above  the  sea.  The  wonderful  group  of  peaks  which  extend 
along  the  source  of  the  Yellowstone,  and  the  branches  of  the  Big  Horn, 
from  the  lake  itself  to  the  lower  caiion,  which  constitute  on  the  map,  the 
Heart  and  Snow  Eanges,  were  in  full  view,  with  all  their  rugged  grand- 
eur. The  basaltic  cones  and  broken  rims  of  huge  craters  were  clearly 
visible,  while  the  equally  lofty  but  more  rounded,  dome-like,  conglomer- 
ate peaks  could  be  easily  detected  by  their  style  of  weathering.  Deep, 
aln^pst  vertical  gorges,  led  down  into  the  valley  of  the  East  Fork  on  the 
east  side  of  us,  and  on  the  west  into  the  main  Yellowstone.  Here  and 
there  a  white  patch  on  the  mountain-side  or  in  a  valley,  looking  like  a 
bank  of  snow,  showed  the  former  existence  of  a  group  of  springs. 

We  descended  to  the  valley  of  the  East  Fork,  and  camped  the  night 
of  August  24  at  the  junction  of  the  two  main  branches.  Here  we  spent 
one  day  exploring  the  east  branch  of  the  East  Fork,  which  has  its  sources 
high  up  among  the  most  rugged  and  almost  inaccessible  portions  of  the 
basaltic  range.  There  are  several  wonderfully  jagged  peaks  about  the 
sources  of  this  branch,  which  rise  up  10,000  to  11,000  feet  above  the  sea. 


I  ascended  one  of  the  liigbest,  though  not  the  highest,  and  found  it  10,950 
feet.  The  general  average  of  these  peaks  is  about  10,000  feet.  The 
summits  of  these  high  peaks  are  all  close,  comijact  trachyte,  while  all 
around  the  sides  are  built  up  walls  of  stratified  conglomerate.  It  is  plain 
that  all  of  them  are  the  nuclei  of  old  volcanoes.  .The  trachyte  may 
sometimes  be  concealed  by  the  conglomerates,  but  I  am  inclined  to  think 
that  each  one  has  formed  a  center  of  effusion.  Large  quantities  of  sili- 
cified  wood  are  found  among  the  conglomerates,  mostly  inclosed  in  the 
volcanic  cement,  evidently  thrown  out  of  the  active  craters  with  the 
fragments  of  basalt.  My  impression  is,  that  when  the  old  volcanoes 
disgorged  their  contents  into  the  great  lake  of  waters  around,  they 
threw  out  also  portions  from  the  sedimentary  formations,  and  thus  the 
silicifled  wood  comes  from  the  Tertiary  or  Cretaceous  beds,  which  may 
have  formed  the  upper  part  of  the  walls  of  the  crater.  At  any  rate,  these 
woods  belong  to  the  Coal  Series  of  the  West,  and  they  are  scattered  pro- 
fusely among  the  conglomerates.  Interlaced  among  tbe  massive  beds  of 
volcanic  conglomerates,  are  some  layers  of  a  light-gray  or  whitisb,  sandy 
clay,  which  show  that  the  whole  breccia  or  conglomerates,  with  the  inter- 
calated layers  of  clay  or  sand,  were  deposited  in  water  like  any  sedi- 
mentary water  rocks. 

Upon  the  east  branch  are  a  few  interesting  ruins  of  springs.  There 
is  one  very  curious  mammiform  mound,  about  forty  feet  high,  built 
up  by  overlai)ping  layers,  like  the  "Cap  of  Liberty"  on  Gardiner's 
Biver,  only  by  much  less  hydrostatic  force.  The  material  is  principally 
calcareous.  This  cone  is  a  complete  ruin,  l^o  water  issues  from  it  at 
the  present  time,  and  none  of  the  springs  in  the  vicinity  are  above  the 
ordinary  temperature  of  brook- water;  sulphur,  alum,  and  other  chemical 
deposits  are  abundant.  This  old  ruin  is  a  fine  example  of  the  tendency 
of  the  cone  to  close  up  its  summit  in  its  dying  stages.  The  top  of 
the  cone  is  somewhat  broken ;  but  it  is  18  feet  in  diameter  at  this  time, 
and  near  the  center  there  is  a  hole  or  chimney  2  inches  in  diameter, 
plainly  a  steam-vent.  This  marks  the  closing  history  of  this  spring. 
The  inner  portions  of  this  small  chimney  are  lined  with  white  enamel, 
thickly  coated  with  sulphur,  which  gives  it  a  sulphur-yellow  hue.  The 
base  upon  which  the  cone  rests  varies  in  thickness.  On  the  east  side 
huge  masses  have  been  broken  off,  exposing  a  vertical  wall  20  feet  high, 
built  up  of  thin  horizontal  laminse  of  limestone.  On  the  west  side  the  wall 
is  not  quite  as  high,  perhaps  eight  or  ten  feet.  It  would  seem,  therefore, 
that  it  was  at  first  an  overflowing  spring,  depositing  thin  horizontal  layers, 
until  it  built  up  a  broad  base  ten  to  twenty  feet  in  height;  then  it  gradu- 
ally became  a  spouting  spring,  building  up  with  overlapping  layers  like 
the  thatch  on  a  house,  until  it  closed  itself  at  the  top  and  ceased. 

Wemay  inquire  again  in  regard  to  theorigin  of  the  lime  in  this  cone.  Not 
over  a  mile  below  the  spring,  the  Carboniferous  limestone  comes  to  the 
surface,  and  as  we  follow  the  river  down  toward  its  juncture  with  the 
main  Yellowstone,  it  soon  becomes  400  feet  in  thickness;  hence  we 
know  that  these  limestones  extend  under  the  valley  of  this  east  braiwph, 
and  that  the  waters  passed  up  through  them,  and  thus  we  have  a  pre- 
dominance of  lime  instead  of  silica,  as  is  the  case  at  Gardiner's  Eiver. 
Over  this  limestone  the  basaltic  rocks  have  been  poured,  rising  to  the 
height  of  2,000  or  2,500  feet  above  the  valley.  Immense  quantities  of 
the  broken  fragments  of  basalt  have  fallen  dov/n  on  the  sides  of  the 
mountains,  and,  by  their  bright  black  color,  look  like  heaps  of  anthracite 
coal  in  the  distance.  About  five  miles  below  the  junction  of  the  two 
branches  of  the  East  Fork,  the  mountains  on  the  east  side  become  quite 
rounded  and  grass-covered,  instead  of  the  bald,  black,  rugged  character 


of  those  near  tlie  sources  of  the  river.  The  granite  rocks  begin  to 
prevail,  and  the  mountains  have  an  older  appearance.  The  valley  is 
full  of  immense,  rounded,  granite  bowlders,  which  have  been  swept  down 
from  the  mountains  by  aqueous  forces  not  now  in  existence.  There  are 
also  in  this  valley  well-defined  terraces  30  to  50  feet  high,  and  above 
the  forks  are  rows  of  basaltic  columns  like  those  in  the  lower  portion  of 
the  Grand  Canon.  At  the  mouth  of  Hell-Eoaring  Eiver  the  granitoid 
rocks  are  displayed  on  a  grand  scale.  As  I  have  previously  stated,  the 
basis  rocks  of  the  mountains  are  granite  or  gneissic  granites;  some- 
times they  are  true  granites,  as  exposed  about  the  junction  of  the 
East  Fork  and  main  branch  of  the  Yellowstone,  and  at  Hell-Eoariug 
Mountain ;  even  these,  perhaps,  come  under  the  head  of  stratified  meta- 
morphic  rocks,  from  the  fact  that  above  and  below  these  thick,  massive 
granites  are  groups  of  gneissic  strata  of  various  textures.  On  the  east 
fork  I  saw  only  the  Carboniferous  limestones.  Although  the  Jurassic, 
Cretaceous,  and  Tertiary  formations  occur  in  full  force  at  Gardiner's 
Eiver,  over  all  has  been  poured  the  igneous  material,  which  rapidly 
increases  in  mass  and  importance  as  we  ascend  the  valley,  until,  about 
the  sources,  it  entirely  covers  all  other  rocks,  and  sends  its  multiform 
peaks  high  up  among  the  perpetual  snows. 

The  bridge  which  has  been  constructed  across  the  Yellowstone,  near 
the  forks,  was  designed  to  accommodate  the  miners  on  their  way  to 
the  gold-mines  on  Clark's  Fork,  and  is  the  first  and  only  bridge  ever 
built  on  the  Yellowstone.  It  may  become  a  matter  of  some  historical 
importance  to  note  this  fact  here.  The  gold-mines  are  all  in  the  granit- 
oid rocks,  and,  from  what  I  can  learn,  all  the  streams  that  flow  into 
the  Yellowstone  from  the  east  side  of  the  range  cut  deep  down  into  the 
metamorphic  group.  The  mines  are  reported  to  be  excellent,  and  I 
am  inclined  to  the  belief  that  the  most  important  mining  districts  of  the 
Yellowstone  drainage  will  be  found  eventually  on  the  eastern  slope  of 
the  Heart  and  Snowy  Eanges. 



In  this  and  the  following  chapter,  I  will  endeavor  to  present  a  brief 
summary  of  the  geological  features  of  the  country  along  our  homeward 
journey,  from  Fort  Ellis  to  Evanston,  on  the  Union  Pacific  Eailroad. 
In  a  former  chapter  I  have  alluded  to  the  range  of  mountains  which 
extends  along  the  east  side  of  the  Gallatin  Fork.  I  also  spoke  of  the 
Pliocene  or  lake  deposits  which  jutted  up  against  the  base  of  these 
mountains,  sometimes  reaching  a  thickness  of  600  or  800  feet. 

The  beautiful  valley  of  the  Gallatin  was  undoubtedly  one  of  the  numer- 
ous lake  basins  of  the  West  of  which  so  much  has  been  written  in  my 
reports  for  years  past.  The  Pliocene  hills  opposite  Fort  Ellis  and 
Bozeman  overlook  the  valley  for  a  great  distance,  and  at  this  season 
of  the  year  (September  6)  hundreds  of  acres  of  golden  grain  can  be  seen. 
There  is  a  remarkable  uniformity  in  the  bright-yellow  color  of  a  field  of 
grain  in  this  country,  probably  due  to  the  uniformity  of  the  climate ; 
the  sun  shines  without  interruption  for  weeks  in  succession.  The  mount- 
ains are  composed  mostly  of  rocks  of  Carboniferous  age.    They  incline 


west  and  southwest,  at  a  variety  of  angles,  15°  to  80°.  East  of  this 
ridge  the  Eocene  and  Cretaceous  formations  prevail. 

As  we  descend  the  Gallatin,  below  Flathead  Pass,  a  series  of  dark- 
brown  quartzites,  sandstones,  and  pudding-stones  rise  up  from  beneath 
the  limestones.  Some  of  the  sandstones  are  very  micaceous,  as  if  they 
had  been  formed  out  of  mica  slates  of  the  metamorphic  series.  I  esti- 
mated the  thickness  to  be  1,000  feet,  and  I  have  not  observed  it  anywhere 
else  along  the  sources  of  the  Missouri.  No  fossils  were  observed,  and  the 
rocks  themselves  did  not  seem  to  promise  any.  They  may  possibly  be 
remnants  of  the  Lower  Silurian  series,  left  from  erosion  prior  to  the  de- 
position of  the  Carboniferous ;  at  any  rate,  they  appear  very  old,  even 
partially  metamorphosed.  The  dip  of  these  beds  is  variable,  10°  to  25° 
northwest,  though  some  local  inclinations  are  greater,  with  a  trend  north- 
east and  southwest.  These  rocks  extend  across  the  Gallatin,  and  under- 
lie, to  some  extent,  the  terraces  and  Pliocene  deposits  between  the  forks. 
The  Gallatin  River  passes  across  the  edges  of  this  series,  showing  the 
uplifted  strata  on  both  sides,  passing  up  into  massive  limestones  and 
reddish  sandstones.  The  lower  series  exhibits  all  the  usual  signs  of 
mud  flats  and  shallow-water  deposits  in  quite  a  remarkable  degree.  It 
may  be  that  the  center  groups,  from  the  metamophic  strata  up,  are  of 
Carboniferous  age. 

Near  the  junction  of  the  Three  Forks,  the  Pliocene  beds  are  well 
shown,  and  on  both  sides  of  the  Madison,  for  ten  miles  or  more  above 
the  junction.  The  bluffs  on  either  side  are  high,  composed  of  the  light- 
colored  clays,  sands,  and  sandstones  of  the  lake  deposits.  A  careful 
examination,  I  have  no  doubt,  would  have  shown  the  existence  of  ver- 
tebrate remains.  I  heard  of  the  discovery  of  bones,  teeth,  and  turtles  by 
the  farmers,  but  could  not  secure  any. 

The  Missouri  below  the  Three  Forks,  x^asses  through  a  canon  formed  of 
the  clays  and  massive  limestones  of  Carboniferous  age.  On  the  south 
and  west  side  of  the  Jefferson  the  dip,  which  is  slight,  5°  to  10°,  appears 
to  be  about  northwest.  About  six  miles  above  the  junction  the  lime- 
stones rise  up  from  beneath  the  lake  deposits  on  the  south  side  of  the 
Jefferson  in  the  ridge  which  forms  the  tongue  or  wedge  between  the 
Jefferson  and  Madison.  The  dip  is  north  and  northwest,  45°.  Imme- 
diately underneath  the  limestones  are  the  usual  gneissic  strata,  that  con- 
tain the  gold  ores.  It  is  not  common  for  any  other  beds  to  be  brought 
to  the  surface  between  the  well-known  Carboniferous  and  the  metamor- 
phic ;  and  so  far  as  the  sources  of  the  Missouri  and  the  Eocky  Mount- 
ain divide,  it  is  not  uncommon  for  large  areas  to  be  occupied  by  no  beds 
newer  than  the  Carboniferous. 

In  the  valleys  of  the  Gallatin,  Madison,  and  Jefferson,  we  find,  on  the 
east  side  of  the  Gallatin,  a  range  of  Carboniferous  limestone  mountains 
rising  up  8,000  to  9,500  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea.  On  the  north  and 
west  side  of  the  Jefferson,  these  limestones  form  high,  nearly  vertical  walls, 
but  between  these  walls  the  lake  deposits  extend  up  the  valleys  and  form 
the  tongues  or  ridges  that  extend  clown  between,  for  ten  miles  or  more, 
and  it  is  only  here  and  there  that  the  older  rocks  crop  out.  The  lake 
deposits  fill  the  valleys  and  lap  on  to  the  sides  of  the  hills  on  either  side. 
The  canon  of  the  Missouri,  below  tlie  junction  of  the  Three  Forks,  was 
evidently  the  outlet  of  the  lake,  that  had  its  deepest  portion  around  the 
Three  Forks,  and  set  high  up  in  the  valleys  to  the  mountains  at  their 
sources.  Ascending  the  valley  of  the  Jefferson,  we  passed  over  the 
high  hills  on  the  east  side,  to  avoid  the  deep  canon  through  which  the 
river  ran  for  several  miles.  Granitic  strata  cropped  out  in  the  valleys 
or  gorges,  with  now  and  then  a  protrusion  of  traehytic  basalt.    The 


highest  ridges  were  covered  with  the  Carboniferous  limestones,  which 
I^assed  down  into  some  massive  beds  of  quartzites  before  resting  on  the 
gueissic  granites. 

For  ten  miles  from  the  Upper  Willow  Creek  to  the  entrance  of  the 
Boulder  Creek  into  Jefferson  Fork,  we  have  the  Carboniferous  limestones 
on  our  right,  or  west  side ;  on  our  left,  or  east  side,  basaltic  rocks  cover 
the  lake  deposits.  The  valley  is  one  to  one  and  one-half  miles  wide,  and 
presents  a  grand  display  of  the  Pliocene  marls  and  sands.  The  high 
mountains,  with  the  symmetrical  cones,  are  also  igneous.  Between  North 
Boulder  and  Willow  Creeks,  a  distance  of  about  five  miles,  the  Jefferson 
Fork  flows  through  one  of  the  deepest  limestone  canons  I  have  yet  seen. 
The  walls  on  either  side  rise  from  700  to  1,200  feet,  almost  vertically. 
The  general  dip  of  all  the  limestones  is  northwest,  and  I  estimated  their 
aggregate  thickness  at  2,000  feet.  Masses  of  chert  occur  in  the  limestones, 
which  are  filled  with  fossils,  spirifers,  corals,  and  crinoidal  fragments. 
The  formations  are  much  confused  here,  from  the  fact  that  the  basalts 
have  been  effused  at  a  recent  period,  even  since  a  large  portion  of  the 
lake  deposits  were  laid  down.  In  the  gorges  that  lead  down  to  the  Jeffer- 
son, they  are  exposed,  and  here  and  there  are  spread  out  over  the  marls. 
Kow  and  then  the  limestones  or  older  rocks  crop  out  from  beneath 
them.  Along  the  little  streams  that  flow  into  the  Jefferson  as  well  as 
the  Jefferson  itself,  are  distinctly  marked  terraces  of  the  lake  deposits, 
for  50  to  200  feet  above  the  river's  bed. 

The  North  Boulder  Creek  enters  the  Jefferson  from  the  north,  through 
a  synclinal  valley.  On  the  west  side  the  beds  of  limestone  incline 
northwest.  The  general  trend  of  the  synclinal  is  about  northeast  and 
southwest.  On  the  west  side  of  the  North  Boulder  and  on  the  south 
side  of  the  Jefferson,  the  Carboniferous  limestones  prevail  almost  entirely. 
There  are  only  a  few  local  outbursts  of  igneous  rocks,  and  not  occupy- 
ing large  areas.  Above  the  canon  the  valley  of  the  Jefferson  expands 
to  a  width  of  one  and  one-half  miles.  The  lake  deposits  are  again  con- 
spicuous, covering  the  entire  valley  and  extending  up  the  valleys  of  the 
side-streams.  About  three  miles  above  the  mouth  of  the  North  Boulder 
Creek,  on  the  same  side  of  the  Jefferson,  the  ravines  cut  down  into  a 
thick  series  of  strata  of  sandstones,  slates,  clays,  &c.,  which  incline  at  a 
moderate  angle.  These  beds  are,  I  think,  local,  and  indicate  volcanic 
action  connected  with  hot  springs  during  the  Phocene  period.  The 
clays  and  sands  are  variegated,  and  thick  beds  of  conglomerate  occur. 
The  highest  mountains  are  composed  of  quartzites  and  a  group  of  light 
gray  vesicular  strata  in  thin  layers,  which  has  somewhat  the  appearance 
of  igneous  rocks.  White  alkaline  efflorescence  covers  the  surface  in 
many  places. 

I  may  repeat  again  that  the  entire  surface  seems  to  have  been  wrinkled 
or  cramped  into  vast  folds  or  ridges,  with  a  general  trend,  nearly  north 
and  south,  or  rather  west  of  north  and  east  of  south;  that  the  valleys  of 
the  streams  are  for  the  most  part  synclinal  depressions.  The  erosion 
has  been  so  great  that  it  is  quite  uncommon  for  rocks  of  more  mod- 
ern date  than  the  Carboniferous  to  be  seen.  The  great  valleys,  or  syn- 
clinal depressions,  during  the  latter  Tertiary  period  were  the  basins  oi 
fresh-water  lakes,  so  that  we  have  everywhere  the  white  and  yellowish- 
white  sands,  marls,  clays,  sandstones,  and  pudding-stones  of  the  Plio- 
cene lake  deposits  passing  up  into  the  Quaternary  or  local  drift.  It  is 
not  uncommon  for  these  modern  lake  deposits  to  be  swept  away,  so 
that  we  know  of  their  former  magnitude  only  by  isolated  remnants  here 
and  there.  During  this  lake  period  changes  were  going  on  in  the  sur- 
face ;  the  general  elevation  of  the  country  most  probably  continued,  so 


tli^t  it  is  not  uncommon  to  find  the  Pliocene  deposits  inclining  5° 
to  10°. 

Subsequent  to  these  depositions,  there  was  a  period  of  intense  volcanic 
activity,  in  which  the  basalts  were  poured  out  over  vast  areas.  We  may 
take,  for  example,  the  valley  of  the  Jefferson,  from  the  entrance  of  the 
North  Boulder  into  the  Jefferson  Eiver  to  Beaver  Head  Canon.  On  the 
east  side  of  the  Jefferson  a  range  of  mountains  extends  along  the  valley 
for  thirty  miles  or  more,  with  the  northern  portions  of  the  west  side 
covered  with  a  large  thickness  of  Carboniferous  limestones,  like  a  steep, 
flexible  roof,  the  highest  conical  peaks  rising  to  a  height  of  2,000  to 
2,500  feet  above  the  valley.  At  intervals  of  one  to  three  or  four  miles, 
these  mountains  are  cleft  from  summit  to  base  by  small  streams,  forming 
a  gorge  or  canon  of  wonderful  grandeur  and  picturesque  beauty.  The 
stratified  rocks  thus  reveal  a  dip  varying  from  45°  to  60°,  and  apparently 
pass  down,  curving  under  the  valley  and  rising  with  a  reversed  dip  on 
the  opposite  side.  The  nucleus  of  all  these  ranges  is,  of  course,  a  group 
of  stratified  rocks  composed  of  arenaceous  clays,  slates,  quartzites, 
micaceous  gneiss,  granulites,  &c.  A  great  variety  of  what  I  have  termed 
gneissic  granites,  granitoid  rocks,  granulites,  metamorphic  strata,  &c., 
occur.  As  a  general  rule,  the  Carboniferous  strata  repose  unconformably 
on  this  group  of  metamorphic  strata ;  but  here  and  there,  a  perplexing 
series  of  beds  come  in,  quite  varied  in  texture  and  occupying  a  restricted 
area,  but  revealing  no  definite  evidence  of  their  age.  That  all  the  strati- 
fied rocks  known  to  exist  in  the  Northwest,  to  the  Lower  Tertiary  inclu- 
sive, once  extended  all  over  this  region,  we  have  every  reason  to  believe ; 
but  about  the  sources  of  the  Missouri,  Yellowstone,  and  Snake  Elvers, 
the  Tertiary,  Cretaceous,  and  Jurassic  beds  have  been  swept  away,  except 
remnants  exposed  here  and  there.  The  Carboniferous  groups,  although 
covering  quite  large  areas,  are  not  unfrequently  seen  capping  the  highest 
mountains  that  suffered  erosion  to  a  tremendous  extent.  The  occurrence 
of  rocks  of  Triassic  age  in  the  northwest  is  so  problematical  as  yet,  that 
I  do  not  now  recognize  them.  Further  investigations  may  bring  to  light 
some  evidence  that  will  fix  the  position  of  the  brick-red  beds  more  posi- 
tively, and  until  that  time  I  prefer  to  include  them  with  the  Jurassic. 

The  metamorphic  group  contains  the"  valuable  mines  of  Montana.  Not 
unfrequently  the  most  productive  gulches  are  found,  where  the  streams 
have  carved  out  a  gorge  through  a  thick  series  of  Carboniferous  lime- 
stones, cutting  deep  into  the  metamorphic  group.  The  volcanic  action 
seems  to  have  taken  place  during  all  the  later  periods,  continuing  up  to 
the  present  time,  and  operating  with  greater  or  less  force  at  different  local- 
ities. The  above  may  be  regarded  as  a  brief  summary  of  the  princij)al 
points  in  the  geological  structure  of  Montana  and  Idaho  Territories.  It 
remains  now  to  present  an  account  of  the  local  geology  from  point  to 
point,  which  must  be  a  repetition  substantially  of  this  summary. 

The  Pliocene  deposits  extend  high  up  the  valleys  of  the  Pipestone 
and  White-Tail  Deer  Creeks,  which  are  quite  wide,  with  mountains  on 
either  side.  On  the  west  side  of  the  Jefferson,  the  foot-hills  show  a 
great  thickness,  600  to  800  feet.  The  silicified  wood  that  is  found 
occasionally  in  these  deposits  is  more  beautiful  than  any  I  have  ever 
seen  from  any  other  formation.  It  is  pure  silica,  and  must  have  been 
aided  in  its  silicification  by  proximity  to  hot  springs.  Portions  of  it  look 
like  opal  or  fine  chalcedony,  and  in  some  portions  the  rings  of  growth  are 
well  shown.  As  cabinet  specimens  they  are  especially  sought  for,  and 
must  always  be  rare.  The  only  other  fossils  known,  are  fresh- water  and 
land  shells,  and  a  few  vertebrate  remains.    Organic  remains  of  any 


kind,  will  probably  never  be  found  in  abundance.  The  mountains  on 
the  west  side  of  the  Jefferson  are  lower  than  those  on  the  east  side, 
a  much  wider  range,  and  far  less  rugged  in  outline.  The  Carboniferous 
limestones  occur  only  in  restricted  patches.  The  metamorphic  group 
is  exposed  fully,  with  here  and  there  an  outburst,  of  the  trachyte  basalt. 
All  the  little  streams,  as  laid  down  on  the  map,  cut  deep  channels  from 
the  summit  to  the  valley  of  the  Jefferson,  and  are  now  or  have  been 
filled  with  miners  searching  for  gold. 

The  mountains  on  the  west  side  of  Table  Mountain  and  those  at  the 
Bources  of  Fish  Creek  are  gneissic  and  contain  valuable  mines  of  gold. 
The  limestone  range  on  the  east  side  of  the  Jefferson  is  cut  off  by  the  river 
temporarily,  at  the  bend  where  White-Tail  Deer  and  Pipestone  Creeks 
enter  it ;  but  it  commences  again  on  the  opposite  side  and  extends  far 
northward.  The  Jefferson  Valley  is  from  five  to  eight  miles  wide  and 
of  oval  shape,  narrowing  to  a  caiion  at  either  end.  The  east  range 
trends  about  northwest  and  southeast,  while  the  limestones  on  the  west 
side  dip  southwest.  They  appear  to  rise  vertically  out  of  the  valley 
plain,  as  if  the  whole  range  had  either  been  carried  up  vertically  in  a 
narrow  belt,  or  that  it  was  caused  by  depression  and  elevation ;  that  as 
the  range  arose  the  valley  was  depressed,  producing  this  abrupt  flexture 
in  the  limestone  strata.  At  Silver  Star  the  metamorphic  group  comes 
in  close  to  the  Jefferson  on  the  west  side,  and  continues  far  up  for 
several  miles.  The  strata  incline  southeast  and  extend  across  the 
mountains  and  hills  in  long  and  quite  regular  lines.  There  are  here 
two  important  gold  lodes,  "  Iron  Eod "  and  "  Green  Campbell."  The 
latter  is  seven  to  ten  feet  wide,  with  quartz  that  pays  well.  It  has  been 
wrought  for  three  years  with  success. 

Just  north  of  "  Silver  Star  "  there  are  some  patches  of  limestone  that 
extend  up  almost  to  the  summit  of  the  range.  This  range  of  mountains 
lies  between  Deer  Lodge  Valley  and  that  of  the  Jefferson  ;  and  although 
the  rocks  are  mostly  metamorphic,  yet  there  are  remnants  enough  of 
the  Carboniferous  limestone  to  show  that  it  formerly  extended  over  the 
area  occupied  by  the  mountains.  The  elevation  of  this  granitoid  range 
is  not  as  great  as  the  limestone  range  on  the  east  side.  It  will  average 
from  800  to  1,500  feet  above  the  valley,  some  of  the  peaks  reaching 
1,000  to  1,500  feet  above  the  bed  of  the  Jefferson.  About  three  miles 
below  the  forks  of  Beaver  Head  and  Big-Hole  Elvers,  the  Stinking 
Water  comes  in  from  the  southeast  and  forms  a  sort  of  breach  in  the 
limestone  range.  The  latter  turns  off  to  the  southeast,  the  limestones 
cease  entirely,  and  the  numerous  little  branches  of  the  Stinking  Water 
cut  deep  into  the  metamorphic  strata,  forming  good  mining  gulches. 
On  the  west  side  of  the  Stinking  Water  the  high  limestones  continue 
northward  to  the  sources  of  Stinking  Water  and  Black -Tail  Deer  Creek, 
where  they  were  studied,  by  us  on  our  journey  to  Virginia  City  in  June. 
The  valley  of  the  Stinking  Water  is  from  four  to  six  miles  in  width,  and 
extends  up  to  the  canon,  in  full  view  of  the  Jefferson  Valley,  so  that 
our  two  belts  of  explorations  connect  from  time  to  time. 

Beaver  Head  Eock  is  Carboniferous  limestone,  with  a  dip  23°  southwest. 
It  seems  to  be  a  jiortion  of  a  ridge  extending  across  the  valley  from  the 
Stinking  Water  Eange.  The  Beaver  Head  Fork  cuts  a  narrow  channel 
through  it,  forming  a  sort  of  caiion,  with  limestone  walls  on  either  side. 
Passing  Beaver  Head  Eock,  the  strata,  which  are  well  shown  for  miles  along 
the  west  side  of  the  Beaver  Head  Fork,  seem  to  incline  southwest ;  and 
I  have  no  doubt  from  the  style  of  surfoce  weathering  that  beds  of  more 
modern  date,  Jurassic  or  Cretaceous,  appear  soon  on  the  summits  of  the 
mountain  hills.    Around  Bannock  City,  about  twelve  or  fifteen  miles 


distant,  several  outcroppings  of  coal  have  been  found,  which  would  in- 
dicate the  presence  of  Upper  Cretaceous  or  Lower  Tertiary  beds.  Above 
the  Carboniferous  limestones,  were  several  layers  of  sandstone,  clays,  and 
quartzites.  The  sandstones  have  been  used  successfully  in  the  manu- 
facture of  grindstones.  There  is  no  doubt  that  as  we  ascend  the  Eocky 
Mountain  divide,  beds  of  comparatively  modern  age  appear. 

The  geology  of  all  this  region  is  exceedingly  complicated,  and  must 
be  studied  with  more  care  than  I  could  give  it,  to  represent  it  in  colors 
on  a  map.  This  will  require  a  most  careful,  detailed  survey,  though  the 
general  character  of  the  geology  will  be  found  to  be  as  I  have  presented 
it  in  this  report.  Our  journey  homeward  was  so  rapid  that  I  could  not 
do  more  than  work  out  the  geological  features  immediately  along  the 
route.  The  details  will  be  wrought  in  from  year  to  year,  as  the  great 
work  of  exploration  goes  on. 

As  we  crossed  Black-Tail  Deer  Creek,  in  ascending  the  broad,  open 
valley  of  the  Beaver  Head,  we  could  look  up  the  valley  to  the  southeast 
and  see  distinctly  marked  on  the  horizon,  thirty  miles  distant,  the 
limestone  range  at  the  sources  of  the  Black-Tail  Deer  Creek.  The  val- 
ley itself  is  occupied  with  a  large  thickness  of  the  lake  deposits,  while 
on  the  north  side  the  hills  are  composed  of  metamorphic  rocks,  and  on 
the  south,  far  below  Wild  Cat  Canon,  we  find  the  Carboniferous  lime- 
stones inclining  from  the  sides  of  the  mountains,  the  nucleus  granitic, 
with  extensive  outpourings  of  trachytic  basalt. 

At  Eyan's  Station  the  valley  closes  up  for  a  time,  and  the  passage  of 
the  Beaver  Head  Fork  through  the  trachyte,  forms  the  well-known 
Beaver  Head  Carion.  The  igneous  rocks  are  of  great  variety  and  tex- 
ture. Just  below  the  lower  entrance  of  the  caQon,  on  both  sides  of  the 
river,  there  is  a  beautiful,  brittle,  light-purplish,  and  whitish  porphyritic 
trachyte  or  calico  rock.  Immense  masses  of  unusually  perfect  breccia, 
the  angular  masses  set  in  a  white  cement,  have  fallen  down  on  the 
sides  and  at  the  base  of  the  mountains.  As  we  look  up  the  canon  from 
below,  the  river  seems  to  rush  through  a  narrow  gateway  with  vertical 
walls,  with  dark-purplish  basalt  weathered  into  most  picturesque  forms. 
Prom  one  point  of  view  above  the  canon,  the  rocks  on  either  side  pre- 
sent the  form  of  animals  couchant,  which,  in  the  imagination  of  the 
Indian,  had  a  resemblance  to  the  beaver ;  hence  the  name  which  is  ap- 
plied to  the  river  as  well  as  the  caiion.  Along  the  canon  in  several 
localities  are  tepid  springs  flowing  down  the  sides  of  the  oaBon  and 
depositing  great  quantities  of  calcareous  tufa.  About  one  mile  up  the 
caiion,  on  the  west  side,  there  is  near  the  road  a,  high,  nearly  vertical 
exposure  of  200  feet  of  soft,  yellow  and  gray  limestones,  inclining  10° 
to  25<^  south  of  west.  In  this  limestone  are  layers  made  up  of  casts  of 
shells.  They  are  not  sufficiently  distinct  to  be  identified,  but  are  proba- 
bly Carboniferous,  though  the  texture  of  these  rocks  is  different  from 
any  I  have  met  with  the  present  season.  Eising  up  from  beneath  this 
group  of  arenaceous  limestones  are  300  feet  of  gray  sandstones,  break- 
ing off  vertically  in  columnar  masses,  presenting  a  singularly  picturesque 
appearance.  As  far  up  as  the  mouth  of  Horse  Plain  Creek  the  reddish 
and  gray  sandstones  and  limestones  are  seen  on  both  sides  of  the  river, 
with  here  and  there  tremendous  outbursts  of  igneous  material.  The 
latter  sometimes  assumes  nearly  the  usual  columnar  form  of  basalt,  and 
forms  mountains  1,000  to  1,500  feet  high  above  the  river,  weathered  all 
over  the  summits  into  sharp  pinnacles.  The  igneous  rocks  rriake  fine 
pictures  for  the  photographer.  The  river  originally  flowed  along  a 
monoclinal  interval,  at  first  separating  the  sedimentary  beds  from  the 
metamorphic,  but  flowing  to  the  northeast,  while  the  trend  of  the  mount- 


aiiTs  was  northwest.  It  leaves  a  wide  belt  of  the  sedimentary  strata 
on  the  east  side,  near  Horse  Plain  Creek.  At  a  point  in  the  cafiou, 
where  Clark's  Creek  enters  the  Beaver  Head  from  the  east  side,  there 
is  an  enormous  belt  of  singular,  slaty  trachytes,  forming  high  walls  on 
both  sides  of  the  road.  Immense  quantities  of  debris,  composed  of  the 
fragments  of  compact  basalt,  lie  on  the  side  and  at  the  base  of  the  hills 
on  either  side.  At  the  mouth  of  Horse  Plain  Creek  the  valley  expands, 
the  Beaver  Head  Valley  extending  up  to  the  southeast,  reaching  the 
Eocky  Mountain  water- shed  and  Horse  Plain  Creek  Valley  trending  to  the 
southwest,  to  the  same  great  divide  5  both  valleys  are  broad,  fertile,  and 
are  now  occupied  by  settlers.  The  elevation  is  so  great  that  the  climate 
is  very  severe  during  the  winter.  One  mile  below  Beaver  Head  Caiion 
the  altitude  is  4,988  feet;  at  the  junction  of  Horse  Plain  Creek  and 
Beaver  Head,  nine  miles  above,  5,130  feet.  From  this  point  to  the 
main  Eocky  Mountain  divide  it  is  thirty-three  miles,  and  the  elevation 
is  7,405  feet. 

Although  the  soil  is  fertile,  and  during  the  summer  season  the  grass 
is  excellent,  yet  the  altitude  about  tlie  sources  of  these  streams  is  too 
great  for  successful  farming  or  grazing.  About  six  months  of  the  year 
the  grazing  is  of  superior  character,  but  during  the  winter  months  I  am 
of  the  opinion  that  stock  must  be  driven  down  below  the  caiion  for 
safety.  At  the  junction  of  Horse  Plain  Creek  with  the  Beaver  Head,  a 
broad  valley  has  been  worn  out  of  the  uplifted  ridges  of  Carboniferous 
strata ;  but  just  at  the  junction  there  is  quite  a  conspicuous  remnant  of 
a  limestone  ridge  that  escaped  erosion,  which  forms  a  sort  of  land-mark. 
On  both  sides  of  Horse  Plain  Creek,  as  well  as  the  Beaver  Head,  the 
Carboniferous  beds  are  elevated  in  ridges  inclining  at  various  angles. 
From  its  source  to  the  junction  of  Horse  Plain  Creek,  the  Beaver  Head 
flows  through  a  synclinal  depression,  the  sedimentary  rocks  inclining 
from  the  Black-tail  Beer  Eange  on  the  east  side,  while  on  the  west  side 
the  same  beds  incline  from  a  range  that  extends  northward  between 
the  Horse  Plain  and  Beaver  Head  branches.  Below  the  junction  of 
Horse  Plain,  the  Beaver  Head  flows  along  a  sort  of  monoclinal  interval, 

^  while  the  Horse  Plain,  which  comes  in  from  the  west,  carves  its  valley 
through  the  ridges  nearly  at  right  angles.  At  one  locality,  in  an  anti- 
clinal valley,  which  runs  up  northward  from  Horse  Plain  Valley,  the 
quartzites  and  micaceous  schists  of  the  metamorphic  group  rise  up 
beneath  the  limestones  and  reddish  quartzites  of  Carboniferous  age,  over 
a  small  area.  Thence  westward  we  pass  over  ridge  after  ridge  of  lime- 
stones, quartzites,  and  arenaceous  clays  to  the  sources  of  Horse  Plain 
Creek.  Throughout  all  these  valleys,  and  jutting  up  against  the  sides 
of  the  mountain  hills  that  inclose  them  on  either  side,  the  Pliocene 

■  deposits  are  always  found  of  greater  or  less  thickness.  On  the  imme- 
diate bottoms  of  the  Horse  Plain  there  is  an  unusual  amount  of  the 
alkaline  efflorescence,  or  suljihate  of  soda,  covering  acres,  as  white  as 

As  we  pass  up  the  valley  toward  the  divide,  a  great  thickness  of 
sandstones  and  quartzites,  at  least  1,500  to  2,000  feet,  is  exposed  above 
the  well-known  Carboniferous  limestones,  forming  ridges  which  rise 
800  to  1,000  feet  above  the  valleys.  The  quartzites  are  so  compact  and 
durable  that  they  do  not  disintegrate,  and  the  hills  as  well  as  the  val- 
leys are  covered  with  the  stray  fragments.  Here  and  there  a  dark, 
abrupt  mass  forms  the  summit  of  a  hill,  weathered,  perhaps,  into  sharp 
pinnacles,  indicating  a  point  of  effusion  of  basalt.  On  a  little  branch  of 
the  Horse  Plain  Creek,  caUed  by  the  Indians  Sage  Creek,  there  are  three 
10  G  s 


quite  prominent  points  of  eruption  in  tlie  range  of  hills  on  the  east  side 
of  the  valley. 

The  mountains  on  either  side  are  principally  Carboniferous  and 
Jurassic,  and  the  valley  itself  is  surrounded  with  rolling  foot-hills,  com- 
posed of  the  lake  deposits  passing  vq)  into  a  great  thickness  of  local 
drift.  On  either  side  the  rounded,  dome-like  peaks  rise  up  1,000 
to  2,000  feet  above  the  valley,  which  itself  is  6,252  feet  above  the  sea. 
It  would  be  impossible  to  describe  in  detail  the  geological  structure  of 
so  extended  an  area  of  country.  Precipitous  walls  of  Carboniferous 
limestone  can  be  seen  on  either  side ;  but  so  chaotic  are  the  positions  of 
the  beds  in  different  localities,  so  obscured  by  more  modern  deposits,  or 
the  outpouring  of  basalt,  that  it  can  only  be  by  pictorial  illustrations 
that  can  be  presented  to  the  eye  that  the  mind  can  form  a  conception 
of  this  remarkable  region.  I  shall  therefore  hasten  on,  making  a  few 
observations  from  point  to  point,  referring  my  readers  to  a  more  com- 
plete and  illustrated  report  hereafter  to  be  prepared  for  a  clearer  under- 
standing of  my  descriptions. 

On  both  sides  of  Sage  Creek,  about  six  miles  above  its  junction  with 
Horsfe  Plain  Creek,  we  find  a  series  of  more  modern  strata.  They  form 
the  foot-hills  of  the  mountains  on  each  side,  extending  in  some  instances 
nearly  to  the  summits.  On  the  west  side  they  incline  from  the  range 
about  northwest,  and  on  the  east  side,  southeast.  Group  one,  is  a  series 
of  strata  of  sandstones  and  arenaceous  clays  of  various  textures,  which 
I  supposed  to  represent  No.  1,  or  Lower  Cretaceous ;  group  two,  com- 
posed of  a  bed  of  earthy  lignite,  passing  up  into  a  dark  chalky  slate, 
with  many  fish-scales  and  som.e  beautiful  impressions  of  ferns  and  other 
plants.  These  shales  are  nearly  vertical,  and  in  some  instances  dip 
past  a  vertical.  I  regarded  these  beds  as  No.  2  Cretaceous,  then  passing 
up  into  yellow  chalky  beds  which  might  represent  No.  3,  then  upyvard 
through  clays,  sandstones,  arenaceous  limestones,  &c.,  a  thickness  of 
several  hundred  feet.  No  shells  could  be  found  after  a  patient  search 
of  several  hours.  The  more  modern  beds,  Cretaceous  or  Tertiary,  and 
possibly  both,  by  more  readily  yielding  to  atmospheric  agencies,  have 
given  a  smoother  and  more  rounded  form  to  the  mountain  hills,  and 
permitted  them  to  be  covered  with  a  thick  growth  of  vegetation.  Near 
the  head  of  Sage  Creek  there  is  a  fine  group  of  mountain  peaks,  7,500 
to  9,000  feet  high.  They  extend  along  the  divide  from  Eed  Eock 
Creek  to  Horse  Plain  Creek,  thirty  to  fifty  miles,  and  may  be  re- 
garded as  remarkable  for  their  symmetrical  beauty.  At  one  locality 
there  is  an  exposure  of  purplish  granulites  of  the  metamorphic  group, 
revealed  by  the  local  wearing  away  of  the  Carboniferous  limestones. 
As  we  ascend  Sage  Creek  toward  the  high  divide,  we  have  an  occa- 
sional exposure  of  gneiss,  enough  to  show  that  the  nucleus  of  the 
mountain  ranges  is  composed  of  the  metamorphic  series,  with  its  rocks 
of  varied  textures.  Here  are  some  purplish  granulites,  micaceous  gneiss, 
with  so  large  a  per  cent,  of  mica  that  the  mass  presents  a  brilliant  black 
color  in  the  distance.  Over  them  are  the  limestones,  sometimes  lifted 
high  upon  the  summits  of  the  mountains,  almost  horizontal  or  forming 
nearly  vertical  walls  on  the  sides  inclosing  the  narrow  valleys.  Then 
come  the  trachytic  basalts  of  various  colors  and  textures,  affecting  the 
adjacent  rocks  more  or  less.  The  quartzites,  which  are  the  i)rincipal 
rocks  exposed  on  the  immediate  divide,  have  been  subjected  to  the  heat 
of  the  igneous  rocks  so  that  they  appear  in  the  distance,  dark-brown  like 
compact  trachytes. 

I  may  now  delay  for  a  moment  and  make  a  few  general  remarks 
on  the  geology  of  the  Eocky  Mountain  divide.     We  have  already 


described  in  as  brief  terms  as  we  could,  the  character  of  the  vast  area 
drained  by  the  three  forks  of  the  Missouri ;  we  have  shown  that  the 
mountain  ranges  lie  along  the  borders  of  the  synclinal  valleys,  which 
were  originally  the  basins  of  fresh-water  lakes.  All  these  ranges  have 
a  general  trend  north  and  south,  or  northwest  and  southeast,  and  yet 
they  are  here  and  there  connected  by  cross-chains,  as  it  were,  which 
give  origin  to  small  branches.  If  we  look  on  the  map,  (and  every  map 
of  this  country  now  in  existence  is  very  imperfect,)  we  shall  see  the 
three  grand  streams  that  constitute  the  three  forks  of  the  Missouri. 
The  main  branches  flow  through  valleys  which  now  expand  out  to  a 
width  of  three  to  five  miles,  then  close  up  in  a  deep  gorge  or  caiion, 
then  expand  out  again  into  broad,  fertile,  grassy  valley  so  with  each 
from  mouth  to  source.  These  expansions,  or  broad  valleys,  have  all  been 
lake-basins  during  the  last  portion  of  the  Tertiary  period,  and  perhaps 
extended  into  the  Drift  or  Quaternary.  On  either  side,  these  valleys  are 
inclosed  by  more  or  less  lofty  ranges  of  mountains,  broken  here  and 
there  by  the  entrance  of  some  branch,  or  by  some  turns  in  the  main 
river  cut  through,  and  another  range  takes  its  place.  Again,  if  we  look 
at  a  correct  map  we  shall  see  that  each  one  of  these  main  rivers  has 
numerous  branches  flowing  in  from  either  side,  and  that  many  of  these 
branches  have  their  small  tributaries  fed  by  the  snows  upon  these 
high  mountain  ranges.  Each  one  of  these  principal  branches,  inclosed 
by  a  range  of  mountains,  is  sometimes  so  low  that  I  have  called  them 
mountain  hills.  There  is  no  doubt  that  these  valleys  are  i>artly  due  to 
erosion,  but  they  are  for  the  most  part  synclinal  folds,  and  the  inter- 
vening mountain  ridges  are  a  wedge-like  mass  of  Carboniferous  limestone, 
the  beds  inclining  from  both  sides  like  the  steep  roofs  of  a  house.  Not 
unfrequently  the  great  mass  of  limestone  has  been  sw^ept  away,  and  the 
ranges  are  less  lofty  and  more  rounded,  exposing  to  atmospheric  agen- 
cies the  metamorphic  rocks,  and  here  are  located  the  valuable  mines. 
Sometimes,  through  the  metamorphic  strata,  and  even  the  sedimentary 
rocks,  the  fluid  interior  has  burst  forth,  forming  a  long  line  of  high, 
black,  conical  peaks,  usually  covered  with  perpetual  snows. 

We  may  say  of  a  large  portion  of  Idaho  and  Montana  that  the  surface 
is  literally  crumpled  or  rolled  up  in  one  continuous  series  of  mountain 
ranges,  fold  after  fold.  Perhaps  even  better  examples  of  these  remark- 
able folds  may  be  found  in  the  country  drained  by  Salmon  Eiver  and  its 
branches,  where  lofty  ranges  of  mountains,  for  the  most  part  covered 
with  limestones  and  quartzites  of  the  Carboniferous  age,  wall  in  all  the 
little  streams.  None  of  our  published  maps  convey  any  idea  of  the 
almost  innumerable  ranges.  We  might  say  that  from  longitude  110°  to 
118°,  a  distance  of  over  five  hundred  miles,  there  is  a  range  of  mountains, 
on  an  average,  every  ten  to  twenty  miles.  Sometimes  the  distance  across 
the  range  in  a  straight  line,  from  the  bed  of  a  stream  in  one  valley  to  the 
bed  of  the  stream  in  the  valley  beyond  the  range,  is  not  more  than  five 
to  eight  miles,  while  it  is  seldom  more  than  twenty  miles.  From  these 
statements,  which  we  believe  to  be  correct,  the  reader  may  form  some 
conception  of  the  vast  amount  of  labor  yet  to  be  performed  to  explore, 
analyze,  and  locate  on  a  suitable  scale  these  hundreds  of  ranges  of 
mountains,  each  one  of  which  is  worthy  of  a  name.  As  we  approach 
the  great  divide  or  crest  of  the  water-shed  we  might  suppose  that  rocks 
of  very  ancient  date  would  be  the  only  ones  exposed,  but  those  of  more 
modern  origin  prevail.  Eocks  older  than  Carboniferous  are  the  excep- 
tion. The  crest  of  this  water-shed  is  an  irregular  ridge  from  7,000  to 
8,000  feet  above  the  sea,  with  here  and  there  along  the  line,  peaks  or 
groups  of  peaks  9,000  to  11,000  feet  high.    The  lower  portions  of  the 


crest  are  almost  entirely  destitute  of  timber  of  any  kind,bnt  are  covered 
over  with  short  grass.  The  ascent  from  either  side  is  so  gradual  that 
it  is  difficult  to  detect  the  fact  that  one  is  passing  over  the  water-shed 
of  the  continent.  Eocks  of  all  ages,  from  the  Carboniferous  to  the  most 
modern,  Tertiary  inclusive,  are  found. 

After  passing  the  divide,  we  descended  the  Medicine  Lodge  Creek 
toward  Snake  Eiver  Basin.  In  the  Carboniferous  limestones  on  both 
sides  of  the  valley,  the  fossils  were  quite  abundant.  Among  them  was 
a  variety  of  corals,  and  several  species  of  Productus,  among  them  P. 
semireticulatus,  &c.  The  surface,  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach  on  either 
side,  is  extremely  rugged,  raised  into  ridges,  and  cut  into  deep  canons. 
Here  and  there  a  fine  dome-shaped  peak  rises  high  above  all  the  rest, 
9,000  to  10,000  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea.  The  Medicine  Lodge 
Creek  commences  in  little  bogs  or  springs  near  the  divide,  and  soon  the 
aggregated  waters  from  numbers  of  little  side-valleys,  extending  down 
from  among  the  hills  and  ridges  on  both  sides,  form  a  good-sized  trout- 
stream.  I  think  I  never  saw  a  stream,  large  or  small,  more  fully  crowded 
with  trout.  There  were  two  species,  each  equally  abundant ;  and  yet  this 
stream  sinks  beneath  the  surface  and  is  lost  entirely  twenty-five  miles 
before  reaching  Snake  Eiver.  The  limestones  and  quartzites  seem  to 
monopolize  the  country  for  a  belt  of  thirty  to  Mtj  miles  in  width, 
extending  east  and  west  on  both  sides  of  the  divide. 

Our  camp  was  made  in  a  singular  basin,  a  sort  of  synclinal  depression, 
an  average  of  three  miles  in  width  and  about  eighteen  miles  long,  cov- 
ered over  with  grass,  but  no  timber,  scarcely  a  shrub.  The  valley  must 
be  at  times  a  complete  marsh  or  bog.  It  is  covered  with  singular  sink- 
holes. They  are  round  holes  ten  feet  below  the  surface,  and  full  of 
rounded  bowlders;  and  in  the  spring  of  the  year,  when  the  snows 
on  the  surrounding  hills  melt,  there  is  a  great  accumulation  of  water, 
which  in  the  autumn  passes  away  to  the  main  water-courses,  among  the 
bowlders  underneath  the  superficial  deposit  of  soil.  We  see,  therefore, 
that  on  the  very  summit  of  the  Eocky  Mountain  divide,  the  Pliocene 
lake  deposits  occur,  as  well  as  immense  accumulations  of  the  local  drift 
or  Quaternary. 

At  some  future  period,  in  a  general  resume  of  the  geology  of  the  West, 
these  statements  will  be  referred,  to.  In  my  preliminary  rejDorts  I  desire 
to  confine  myself  mostly  to  a  simple  statement  of  what  I  saw  along  the 
route,  that  the  observations  may  be  placed  on  record  for  future  use. 
Our  first  camp  on  Medicine  Lodge  Creek  was  6,110  feet  above  the  sea. 
The  high  mountain  hills  on  either  side  are  800  to  1,500  feet  above  the 
valley,  some  of  the  highest  peaks  2,500  feet  or  more.  One  high  ridge  of 
Carboniferous  limestone  was  found  to  be  700  feet  above  camp,  by  barom- 
eter. One  of  the  j)rincipal  features  of  this  valley  is  a  most  remarkable 
deposit  from  springs,  which  must  have  occurred  far  back  in  the  Pliocene 
period.  It  is  far  the  largest  I  have  ever  seen  in  the  West,  and  may  serve 
to  illustrate  the  influence  which  springs  may  have  in  the  formation  of  the 
earth's  crust.  It  seems  to  have  filled  up  a  synclinal  trough.  The  Car- 
boniferous limestones  incline  from  the  sides  of  the  mountains  that  inclose 
the  valley,  and  the  deposit  is  arranged  in  nearly  horizontal  layers,  jut- 
ting up  against  the  sides  of  the  valley,  while  the  stream  itself  has  cut  its 
channel  through  it,  thus  exposing  a  fair  section  to  the  eye.  On  the  east 
side  of  the  creek,  the  wall  is  100  to  200  feet  high,  made  up  of  rather 
massive  layers  of  most  beautiful  white  limestone,  some  of  it  porous  like 
heavy  tufa,  but  most  compact  like. the  old  Hot  Spring  limestone  on  Gar- 
diner's Eiver.  Above  it,  and  conforming  to  the  bed  of  limestone,  are 
about  80  feet  of  gray  volcanic  ash,  forming  a  soft,  sometimes  porous, 


chalky  rock;  this  is  capped  with  a  layer  of  very  hard,  purplish-drab 
basalt  of  variable  thickness.  This  deposit  extends  down  the  valley  of 
the  Medicine  Lodge  six  miles,  with  an  average  of  four  miles  in  width,  and 
I  estimated  the  entire  thickness  to  be  400  to  600  feet.  The  deposit  itself 
has  been  lifted  up,  so  as  to  form  a  sort  of  anticlinal,  that  is,  the  strata 
inclining  each  way  from  the  river  channel  at  an  axis,  5°  to  8°.  The 
lower  portion  is  very  much  like  the  Hot  Springs  deposits  at  Gardiner's 
Eiver,  hard  and  white  as  snow ;  some  of  it  is  a  pudding-stone,  made  up 
of  worn  pebbles.  The  upper  portion  is  variable,  as  if  volcanic  action 
had  existed  at  the  same  time.  The  limestone  in  some  places  passes  up 
into  thin  layers  of  a  white,  fine,  calcareous  sandstone.  As  we  descend 
the  creek  the  beds  of  limestone,  volcanic  ash,  and  basalt  diminish  in 
thickness,  and  over  all  is  a  heavy  bed  of  black  porous  basalt.  It  is 
probable  that  during  the  lake  period  this  valley  was  the  center  of  one 
of  the  most  active  groups  of  hot  springs  on  the  continent;  that  the 
principal  time  of  deposition  preceded  the  last  period  of  volcanic  action, 
when  the  basalt  that  covered  the  Snake  Eiver  Basin  with  its  huge  crust 
issued  forth.  We  can  trace  its  history  step  by  step  by  the  strata;  and 
although  we  could  discover  no  sign  of  any  water  in  the  vicinity  above 
the  ordinary  temperature  of  river- water,  yet  there  is  no  doubt  that  this 
indicates  one  of  the  largest  deposits  of  the  kind  yet  known  in  the  West. 
W^e  may  inquire  from  what  source  all  this  calcareous  material  was 
derived.  If  this  is  a  synclinal  vaUey,  and  I  so  regard  it,  then  the  vast 
thickness  of  Carboniferous  limestones  which  we  see  on  the  sides,  and 
extending  to  the  summits  of  the  highest  mountains,  at  least  3,000  feet 
in  thickness,  dips  down  beneath  the  valley  and  rises  again  on  the 
opposite  side.  The  waters  permeating  such  a  mass  of  limestone  could 
dissolve  an  unlimited  amount  of  lime. 

The  valley  of  the  Medicine  Lodge,  for  fifteen  miles  above  the  Snake 
River  Basin,  passes  through  a  deep  gorge,  with  walls  of  basalt  and  bas- 
altic conglomerate  on  either  side.  At  the  point  where  we  ascend  the 
hill  on  the  west  side  of  Medicine  Lodge,  the  hot-spring  deposits  have 
diminished  to  about  80  feet  in  thickness,  and,  with  a  flexure  like  a  bow, 
bend  down,  beneath  the  bed  of  the  stream,  out  of  sight.  We  then 
have,  as  the  lower  portion  of  the  wall,  100  feet  of  very  coarse  breccia  or 
conglomerate,  capped  with  a  bed  of  basalt;  then  200  feet  of  yellow  ma- 
terial, like  marl,  undoubtedly  volcanic  ashes,  &c.  This  also  is  capped 
with  a  bed  of  basalt.  The  valley  or  canon  of  the  Medicine  Lodge  is 
450  to  550  feet  below  the  sloping  plain  line.  All  over  the  jjlains  there 
is  great  abundance  of  very  rough  basalt,  full  of  holes,  of  quite  modern 

We  have  said  enough  in  this  report  to  show  that  the  portion  of  the 
West  drained  by  the  Snake  Eiver  and  its  tributaries  is  full  of  interest. 
We  have  examined  only  two  or  three  of  the  numbers  of  little  streams 
that  carve  deep  channels  from  the  divide  down  into  the  basin  for  more 
than  two  hundred  miles — all  of  them  undoubtedly  presenting  features 
of  the  highest  interest.  Fold  after  fold  of  mountain  ranges  extend  to 
the  westward  to  an  unknown  distance,  very  few  of  which  are  laid  down, 
on  any  of  our  maps. 




I  will  not  delay,  at  this  time,  to  discuss  the  many  interesting  prob- 
lems connected  with  the  great  basin  of  Snake  Eiver.  Further  examina- 
tions will  add  greatly  to  the  observations  we  now  possess.  Indeed,  it  is 
hardly  possible,  in  these  preliminary  rei)orfcs,  to  do  more  than  to  make  a 
brief  record  of  field-notes.  The  great  lines  of  thought  which  are  opened 
up  in  every  direction  by  the  wonderful  phenomena  of  this  singular  re- 
gion must  be  followed  persistently  to  their  legitimate  conclusions.  Time 
and  careful  study  will  be  required  to  work  out  all  the  results,  and  these 
cannot  be  given  at  this  period.  Our  barometric  observations  indicate 
the  altitude  of  Fort  Hall  to  be  4,720  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea. 
This  will  form  our  starting-point  homeward  from  the  basin,  and,  inas- 
much as  most  of  the  way  will  be  toward  higher  altitude,  we  may  thus 
know  the  grade  from  point  to  point. 

On  our  way  up  to  Fort  Ellis,  in  June,  we  ascended  the  Cache  Yalley, 
and,  passing  the  divide,  descended  one  of  the  more  western  branches  of 
the  Port  Nenf  into  the  Port  Neuf  Canon ;  then  iuto  the  Snake  River 
Basin.  On  our  return ,  we  crossed  the  divide  between  the  Blackfoot  Fork 
and  the  Port  Neuf,  5,904  feet,  down  into  a  broad  valley,  a  kind  of  synclinal 
depression  between  the  high  ranges  of  mountains.  In  this  valley,  the 
sources  of  the  main  branch  of  the  Port  Neaf  gather  together  before 
cutting  through  the  ranges  of  mountains. 

I  have,  in  a  i)revious  chapter,  noted  briefly  the  formations  along  the 
east  side  of  the  Snake  Basin,  in  the  vicinity  of  Fort  Hall.  The  Jurassic 
and  Carboniferous  groups  of  strata  form  the  bulk  of  the  sedimentary 
rocks,  with  the  Pliocene  or  Lake  deposits  jutting  up  into  the  ravines  or 
valleys,  and  sometimes  occurring  high  up  on  the  sides  of  the  mountains. 
The  range  of  mountains  which  formed  the  eastern  wall  of  the  Cache  Valley 
in  its  northward  extension  seems  to  have  broken  up  into  irregular  frag- 
ments after  reaching  the  rim  of  the  basin,  and,  with  the  exception  of  a 
few  rather  high  peaks,  seldom  reaches  an  elevation  of  more  than  G,000  or 
7,000  feet  on  the  east  border  of  the  basin.  I  did  not  observe  rocks  of 
Cretaceous  or  Lower  Tertiary  age  here,  though  I  think  a  more  careful 
examination  will  reveal  them.  Originally  there  was  a  system  in  the 
formation  of  the  mountain  hills  on  the  east  side  of  the  basin,  but  subse- 
quent to  their  upheaval  the  outbursts  of  igneous  material  have  produced 
apparent  chaos.  The  sedimentary^  formations  at  this  time  incline  in 
every  direction  and  at  all  angles. 

After  crossing  the  divide,  we  descended  into  an  open,  grassy  valley, 
extending  to  the  northern  bend  of  Bear  River,  averaging  about  three 
miles  in  width,  but  expanding,  near  the  point  where  the  sources  of  the 
Port  Neuf  unite  and  cut  through  the  mountains,  to  a  width  of  five  miles. 
On  the  east  side,  the  range  of  hills  is  entirely  composed  of  Carbonifer- 
ous Imestones,  so  far  as  I  could  ascertain  after  a  careful  examination. 
This  range  of  hills  is  composed  of  broken  ridges,  which  rise  for  800  to 
1,500  feet  above  the  level  of  the  valley.  One  ridge,  which  I  measured 
witt  care,  as  an  average,  was  1,100  feet.  In  many  localities  these  lime- 
stones were  charged  with  fossils.  In  no  portion  of  the  Rocky  Mountain 
Range  have  I  seen  them  of  greater  abundance  and  variety.  Quite  thick 
layers  of  a  compact,  bluish  limestone  were  entirely  composed  of  corals 
and  crinoidal  stems.  In  the  valley  itself  the  basaltic  covering  is  ex- 
posed here  and  there,  though  it  is  not  quite  as  conspicuous  as  it  is 


either  east  or  west  of  the  limestone  range.  The  evidence  is  plain 
enough,  however,  that  the  basalt  did  originally  form  a  thick  covering 
in  this  valley. 

Near  the  bend  of  Bear  Eiver  are  several  points  of  eifusion,  and  three 
or  four  ruins  of  old  craters  can  be  seen.    On  the  east  side  of  the  lime- 
stone ridges,  in  the  valleys  of  the  sources  of  the  Blackfoot  Fork,  there 
are  a  number  of  real  craters,  the  rims  of  which  are  comiDosed  of  lava  of 
quite  modern  appearance.    One  of  these  craters,  not  more  than  ten 
miles  north  of  the  Soda  Springs,  is  very  distinct,  about  one  hundred  and 
fifty  yards  in  diameter,  from  one  edge  of  the  rim  to  the  other,  nearly 
circular;  the  west  side  of  the  rim  is  about  50  feet  above  the  grass-cov- 
ered, inner  space,  which  is  eighty  yards  in  diameter.    All  the  rocks  are 
extremely  porous,  and  have  the  apx)earance  of  comparatively  recent 
action.    Indeed,  but  few,  if  any,  important  changes  have  taken  place  in 
the  surface  since  the  eruption  of  these  basalts,  and  therefore  it  must 
have  occurred  either  during  or  immediately  prior  to  our  present  period. 
In  general  terms,  we  may  describe  this  portion  of  the  country  as  com- 
posed of  nearly  parallel  ranges  of  mountains  or  mountain  hills,  seldom 
rising  more  than  1,500  feet  above  the  intervening  valleys,  but  with  here 
and  there  a  higher  peak  2,000  to  2,500  feet.     On  the  east  side  and  ex- 
tending off  to  the  drainage  of  Green  Eiver,  these  ranges  are  mostly 
composed  of  limestones  or  quartzites,  which  are  undoubtedly  of  Carbon- 
.  iterous  age.    They  trend  nearly  north  and  south,  and,  though  sometimes 
broken  up  at  points,  preserve  a  remarkable  degree  of  uniformity.    They 
are  folds  or  wrinkles  in  the  crust,  from  the  surface  of  which  nearly  or 
quite  all  the  older  sedimentary  rocks  have  been  removed  by  erosion, 
leaving  the  Carboniferous  group  in  pretty  nearly  its  full  force.     On  the 
west  side,  however,  about  the  lower  canon  of  the  Port  ISIeuf,  the  lime- 
stones have  been  stripped  away,  and  an  immense  thickness  of  meta- 
morphic  strata  of  uncertain  age  is  exposed.    In  the  intervening  valleys, 
are  the  Lake  deposits,  as  usual,  and  at  a  modern  date,  the  evidence  of 
the  eruption  of  the  basalt.    About  the  sources  of  this  Blackfoot  Fork, 
the  influences  of  the  basaltic  outflows  are  very  marked.    Along  the  sides 
of  the  ranges  of  hills  or  mountains  are  deep  ravines,  extending  up  to 
the  crest  or  water-divide.    They  are  seldom  caiions  or  gorges,  though 
the  walls  are  in  some  instances  rather  abrupt.    These  ravines  gather 
the  drainage  from  the  hills,  and  in  the  valleys  numerous  springs  break 
forth,  the  waters  of  which  contain  great  quantities  of  lime  in  solution. 
Large  deposits  of  this  lime  are  met  with  long  before  reaching  Soda 
Springs  at  the  bend  of  Bear  River.    Indeed,  this  group  of  springs,  which 
is  usually  very  remarkable,  is  but  the  center  of  a  great  district  ex- 
tending in  every  direction,  only  the  ruins  of  which  remain  at  the  pres- 
ent time.    Some  of  these  ruins  bear  traces,  at  this  time,  of  a  good  deal 
of  former  beauty.    In  one  locality  quite  a  large  area  was  covered  with 
the  semicircular  basins,  with  scalloped  rims. 

But  one  of  the  most  remarkable  features  of  this  region  is  the  bend  of 
Bear  Eiver.  By  examining  the  map  it  will  be  seen  that  the  river,  after 
flowing  nearly  northward  from  the  Uintah  Mountains  about  two  hundred 
and  fifty  miles,  makes  an  abrupt  bend,  and  returns,  flowing  southward 
about  the  same  distance  into  Great  Salt  Lake,  not  more  than  fifty  miles 
from  its  source.  There  is  really  only  one  important  range  of  mountains 
or  hills  between  the  two  portions  of  the  river.  I  was  unable  to  obtain 
from  the  present  surface  features  of  the  country,  a  satisfactory  reason  for 
the  singular  conduct  of  this  river.  The  wide  parallel  valley  which  comes 
up  over  the  lake,  known  on  the  maps  as  Cache  Valley,  opens  directly  into 
the  Upper  Port  Neuf,  and  continues  nearly  to  Fort  Efall,  while  Bear  Eiver 


has  apparently  cut  its  Tvaj  directly  through  one  of  the  great  limestone 
ranges,  and  abruptly  flexes  around  and  flows  southward.  The  river  cuts 
the  end  of  the  mountain-range  that  extends  up  in  the  bend,  so  that  the 
north  end  forms  a  high,  precipitous  mountain  wall.  The  river  runs 
through  a  deep  gorge  of  basalt.  On  the  opposite  side  there  is  a  steep 
wall  of  limestone  800  to  1,000  feet  high.  The  passage  from  Upper 
Port  Neuf  to  Upj)er  Bear  Eiver  Valley  is  a  narrow  gateway  about  half 
a  mile  wide.  The  general  trend  of  all  these  ranges  is  nearly  northwest 
and  southeast;  the  inclination  of  the  limestones  15°  to  30°,  though  in 
some  exceptional  cases  extensive  groups  of  strata  incline  as  high  as  60<^, 

The  high  range,  which  can  be  seen  so  distinctly  extending  far  south- 
ward from  Soda  Springs  within  the  bend,  is  only  a  portion  of  the  im- 
mense limestone  range  seen  on  the  east  side  of  Cache  Valley  as  we  jour- 
neyed northward  in  June.  It  is  entirely  composed  of  the  old  quartz- 
ites  and  underneath  them  the  well-defined  Carboniferous  limestones,  as 
shown  in  the  Wahsatch  Range,  the  limestones  and  the  quartzites  again 
overlying  the  limestones.  I  could  not  discover  any  traces  of  the  usual 
metamorphic  group.  There  is  a  broad  belt  of  country  lying  between 
the  drainage  of  Snake  and  Green  Eivers,  which  is  formed  of  a  series  of 
folds  in  the  crust,  that  have  not  yet  been  worked  out  in  detail.  In  all 
this  belt  it  is  seldom  that  rocks  older  than  the  Carboniferous  are  ex- 

At  the  bend  of  Bear  Eiver,  is  located  the  most  interesting  group  of 
soda  springs  known  on  the  continent.  They  occupy  an  area  of  about 
six  square  miles,  though  the  number  is  not  great.  At  this  time  they' 
may  be  called  simply  remnants  of  former  greatness.  Numerous  mounds 
of  dead  or  dying  springs  are  scattered  everywhere,  and  only  a  few  seem  to^ 
be  in  active  operation.  So  far  as  the  manner  of  building  up  the  calcare- 
ous mounds  is  concerned,  it  does  not  difler  from  that  of  the  hot  springs 
in  the  Yellowstone  Valley,  and  it  may  be  that  they  were  boiling  springs 
at  some  period  in  the  i)ast.  At  the  i)resent  time  they  are  not  usually  much 
above  thetem]Derature  of  ordinary  spring- water.  In  one  or  two  instances 
the  active  springs  were  found  to  be  luke-warm.  Kearly  all  the  springs 
were  in  a  constant  state  of  more  or  less  agitation  from  the  bubbles  of 
gas  "that  were  ever  escaping.  In  a  few  cases  the  water  is  thrown  up  2 
to  4  feet.  One  spring  with  a  basin  10  feet  in  diameter,  with  the  surface 
covered  over  with  bubbling  points  from  carbonic  acid  gas  escaping,  had  a 
temperature  of  61Jo ;  another  bubbling  spring,  65°.  The  Bear  Eiver 
cross-cuts  a  number  of  the  mounds,  thus  revealing  the  secret  of  their 
structure.  The  mounds  vary  from  a  few  feet  to  twenty  or  thirty  feet 
high,  built  up,  in  the  same  way  as  the  hot-spring  cones,  by  overlapping 
layers.  There  are  many  of  these  mounds,  which  show,  by  the  steepness 
of  the  sides,  the  amount  of  hydrostatic  pressure.  Many  of  the  chim- 
neys are  nearlj^  vertical,  with  the  inner  surface  coated  over  with  a  sort 
of  porcelain.  At  one  point  on  the  margin  of  Bear  Eiver  there  are  two 
steam-vents,  from  which  the  gas  is  constantly  escaping  with  a  noise 
like  a  low-pressure  engine.  Kear  the  edge  of  the  river  there  is  a  beau- 
tiful spring  with  a  chimney  about  two  feet  in  diameter  lined  inside  and 
out  with  a  iDright-yellow  coating  of  oxide  of  iron,  in  which  the  water  is 
thrown  up  two  feet  by  a  constant  succession  of  impulses.  The  inner  por- 
tions of  the  chimney  are  lined  with  the  porcelanic  coating  as  smooth 
as  glass,  and  tinged  through  with  a  bright  yellow  from  its  iron.  Near 
the  foot  of  the  hills,  a  mile  from  the  river,  there  is  a  soda-spring,  with 
a  mound  about  10  feet  high,  with  a  large  rim  30  by  100  feet,  but  with 
a  small  quantity  of  water  compared  with  what  formerly  flowed  from  it ; 
temperature,  53^°.    Near  this  spring  are  a  number  of  large  springs 


issuing  from  beneath,  the  hills  of  limestone  without  the  deposit  or  the 
taste  of  the  acidulous  ones ;  so  that  we  have  in  close  proximity  and  appa- 
rently coming  from  the  same  rock,  with  about  the  same  temperature, 
acidulous  and  non-acidulous  springs.  There  were  two  springs,  the 
waters  of  which  were  above  the  ordinary  temperature,  respectively, 
76^o  and  78°. 

Near  the  Mormon  village  are  a  number  of  mounds  and  springs,  which 
will  always  attract  attention.  One  of  them  is  located  near  the  margin 
of  Soda  Creek.  It  has  formed  a  small  chimney  about  2^  feet  in  diameter, 
6  feet  above  the  creek,  and  the  water  boils  up  most  violently.  One 
would  suppose  from  the  agitation  of  these  springs  that  a  large 
quantity  of  water  must  necessarily  flow  from  them ;  but  the  quantity  is 
always  small,  and  in  some  cases  none.  In  the  middle  of  Soda  Creek, 
which  at  this  point  is  about  25  feet  wide  and  3  feet  deep,  there  are 
several  points  of  ebullition,  showing  the  presence  of  springs  beneath. 
Vv^ithiu  100  feet  of  the  fine  spring  owned  by  Hon.  W.  H.  Hooper,  there 
are  three  singular  cone-shaped  chimneys  with  water  in  a  constant  state 
of  ebullition,  but  with  no  visible  outlet.  All  around  these  springs  there 
is  a  deposit  of  iron  of  a  bright-orange  color.  In  the  bed  of  Bear  Eiver 
there  are  a  number  of  springs  which  can  be  seen  from  a  distance  by  the 
ebullition.  Although  the  flow  of  water  from  these  springs  does  not  seem 
to  be  great,  yet  there  will  always  be  enough  for  the  demand  of  visitors 
for  drinking  purposes.  There  are  some  mounds  that  have  been  built  up 
in  thin  layers  and  rounded  gradually  to  their  summits,  30  to  50  feet 
high,  and  from  50  to  300  feet  in  diameter  at  the  base  ;  these  have  been 
at  a  former  period,  large  springs,  but  are  now  in  their  last  stages.  Some 
of  these  springs  have  gradually  built  up  a  mound  in  the  form  of  a  hay- 
cock or  a  bee-hive,  and  before  dying  or  breaking  out  in  another  place 
would  close  themselves  up  at  the  summit.  One  of  the  largest  of  these 
mounds  closed  itself  up  at  the  top,  all  except  a  chimney  about  4  feet 
in  diameter,  with  an  aperture  of  about  4  inches.  It  was  once  a  s^ning 
of  great  force,  but  gradually  died  away  until  it  ceased  entirely.  But 
the  most  interesting  exhibition  of  the  soda-spring  deposit  is  found  on 
Soda  Creek,  about  four  miles  above  its  junction  with  Bear  liiver.  There 
is  here  an  area  of  half  a  mile  square,  covered  over  with  the  semicircular 
reservoirs,  with  scalloped  rims,  similar  to  those  on  Gardiner's  River, 
except  that  they  are  much  coarser.  Some  of  the  rims  are  C  and  8  feet 
high.  The  process  of  building  up  these  reservoirs  is  going  on  now,  but 
the  center  of  operation  is  constantly  changing.  The  partitions  of  these 
reservoirs  are  sometimes  several  feet  in  thickness,  and  arc  usually  hol- 
low, forming  extensive  caverns.  The  inner  sides  are  most  beautifully 
lined  with  a  calcareous  bead-work  like  coral,  as  white  as  snow.  There 
are  also  rows  of  small  stalactites,  which  add  much  to  the  ornamentation. 
All  around  these  springs,  in  the  channels  along  which  the  water  flows, 
the  vegetation  grows  with  a  rankness  which  is  worthy  of  special  notice. 
As  the  waters  holding  lime  in  solution  flow  slowly  over  this  vegetation, 
the  leaves  and  stems  become  incrusted,  and  large  masses  may  be 
gathered  up  as  specimens,  showing  the  stems  and  leaves  perfectly. 
These  specimens  have  been  transported  in  large  quantities  to  different 
jioints  along  the  Pacific  Eailroad  for  the  purpose  of  sale  to  travelers 
and  curiosity-seekers,  until  these  beautiful  decorations  are  destroyed. 
When  I  visited  these  springs  last  autumn  I  found  them  a  mass  of  ruins, 
and  the  specimens  that  I  obtained  for  the  museum  of  the  Smithsonian 
Institution  were  those  that  had  been  rejected  by  these  traders.  From 
the  base  of  the  Limestone  Hills,  which  are  500  to  800  feet  high,  springs 
gush  out,  forming  at  once  a  swift-flowing  stream,  G  feet  wide  and  a  foot 


deep,  as  clear  as  crystal.  The  valley  of  Soda  Creek  extends  off  to  the 
northwest  and  unites  with  that  of  Blackfoot  Fork.  As  far  as  the  eye 
can  reach  only  a  fragment  of  a  ridge  of  limestone,  or  an  old  volcanic 
crater,  can  be  seen,  bat  on  either  side  the  high  limestone  hills  rise  up 
like  lofty  walls.  The  basalt  is  shown  along  the  base  of  these  hills  in 
high,  vertical  walls,  50  to  SOfeet,  breakinginto  irregular  columnar  masses. 
Sometimes  the  springs  sink  beneath  this  crust  of  basalt,  and  thus  dis- 
appear for  a  long  distance.  Huge  fissures  and  sink-holes  are  not  un- 
common. These  limestones,  from  the  inclination  as  shown  in  the  sur- 
rounding hills,  must  dip  beneath  all  the  Lake  deposits  and  basaltic  floors 
of  the  valleys,  and  consequently  the  water  of  the  springs  may  pass  up 
through  2,000  to  4,000  feet  of  limestone.  A  narrow-gauge  railroad  has 
been  projected,  and  partially  constructed,  by  the  Mormon  authorities, 
from  the  Pacific  Eailroad,  near  Ogden,  via  Cache  Valley,  toSoda  Springs. 
This  road  will  pass  through  the  most  thickly  settled  and  most  })rosperous 
IDortion  of  Utah  outside  of  Salt  Lake  Valley.  It  also  opens  up  the  fine 
valley  of  Upper  Bear  Eiver  with  its  2,500  industrious  farmers.  1  call 
the  attention  of  the  public  to  this  locality.  Soda  Springs,  as  a  future 
place  of  resort  for  j^leasure-seekers  and  invalids.  The  numerous  springs 
with  their  curious  deposits,  the  beautiful  valley  with  its  river,  surrounded 
with  most  picturesque  scenery,  must  very  soon  attract  great  attention 
from  tourists.  About  sixty  miles  to  the  northeast,  on  Salt  Creek,  a  branch 
of  John  Gray's  Eiver,  are  some  of  the  finest  salt-works  west  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi, which  must  sooner  or  later  attract  far  more  attention  than  they 
liave  yet  done. 

The  elevation  at  Soda  Springs  is  5,529  feet  above  the  level  of  the 
sea.  From  this  point  we  pass  up  the  valley  of  Bear  Eiver,  constantly, 
but  gradually  ascending  to  higher  altitudes  until  we  reach  the  terminus 
of  our  journey.  We  shall  find  the  soil  fertile,  the  vegetation  exuberant, 
the  crops  of  the  farmers  usually  good.  We  shall  be  constantly  surprised 
at  the  numbers  of  prosperous  villages  that  will  greet  our  eyes  every  few 
miles.  When  the  valley  was  first  settled,  a  few  years  ago,  the  crops 
were  all  destroyed  either  by  grasshoppers  or  early  and  late  frosts.  The 
prospects  of  the  farmers  are  improving  every  year,  and  as  the  country 
becomes  settled,  the  climate  seems  to  become  milder  and  the  confidence 
and  x^rosperity  of  the  people  are  greatly  increasing. 

I  have  continually  spoken  of  the  Lake  deposits  in  the  valleys  among 
the  mountains,  from  the  fact  that  they  occur  everywhere.  There  is 
also  a  rem aik able  uniformity  in  their  mineral  composition  and  color. 
Still  there  is  here  and  there  a  locality  where  these  deposits  present  some 
variations  from  the  usual  type.  About  three  miles  above  Soda  Springs, 
on  the  margin  of  Bear  Eiver,  there  is  a  bed  of  black  slaty  clay  under- 
neath the  superficial  deposits  of  drift,  which  contains  a  seam  of  impure 
coal,  visible  only  when  the  water  is  low  in  autumn.  The  slate  above 
the  coal  is  literally  crowded  with  fresh-water  shells,  as  Planorbis,  &c. 
The  beds  are  all  horizontal  and  form  a  portion,  I  suspect,  of  the  Plio- 
cene Lake  deposits  of  these  valleys.  A  little  farther  up  the  river,  on 
the  opposite  side,  there  are  hills,  cut  by  the  river,  showing  about  200 
feet  of  gray  indurated  sandstones,  with  beds  of  pudding-stones,  and 
light-gray  and  whitish  marly  sand  and  clay,  a  very  modern  dejiosit^ 
but  attaining  such  a  thickness  and  giving  form  to  the  high  hills  bord- 
ering the  river  as  to  be  regarded  as  worthy  of  attention  in  describing 
the  geological  features  of  this  valley.  I  may  state  in  short  that  for  ten 
miles  the  valley  and  the  foot-hills  on  either  side  exhibit  an  extensive 
deposit,  gradually  passing  up  into  the  Quaternary  or  Drift,  and  over  the 
Drift  is  here  and  there  a  crust  of  basalt.    There  are  also  old  spriug  de- 


posits  in  the  form  of  rather  compact  tufa.  On  either  side  of  the  river 
the  high  mountain  hiils  are  composed  of  quartzites  and  Carboniferous 

About  fifteen  miles  above  Soda  Springs  the  river  cuts  through  a  vast 
thickness  of  thin  shales,  varying  in  thickness  from  one-twentieth  of  an 
inch  to  an  inch,  averaging  about  one-eighth  of  an  inch  thick,  resembling 
the  Green  Eiver  shales  on  the  Union  Pacific  Eailroad.  They  are  mostly 
horizontal,  but  occasionally  incline  3°  to  5°.  They  reach  a  thickness  of 
500  to  800  feet  and  appear  to  pass  up  into  variegated  beds  of  light- 
gray  aad  pink  sands  and  clays  in  this  valley,  resembling  those  of  the 
Wahsatch  grouj)  west  of  Port  Bridger,  By  looking  at  the  map  it  will 
be  observed  that  the  valley  of  Green  River  is  only  about  sixty  miles  to 
the  eastward,  while  southward  the  variegated  beds  are  found  filling  up 
the  inequalities  of  the  surface  of  the  older  rocks  as  far  as  the  eye  can 
reach,  on  either  side  of  our  road  to  Evanston.  The  appearance  of  the 
large  mass  of  shales  in  the  valley  of  Bear  Eiver  is  not  easily  accounted 
for,  and  they  do  not  appear  to  conform  to  the  older  rocks.  No  fossils 
could  be  found  in  the  shales,  and  all  that  I  can  say  of  them  is  that  they 
appear  to  be  of  modern  Tertiary  age,  and  that  in  the  scooi3ing  out  of  the 
valley  they  seem  to  have  escaped  the  general  erosion.  About  fifteen 
miles  below  Soda  Springs,  are  some  thick  local  deposits  of  the  white  lime 
stone,  very  compact  and  hard  enough  for  building  material  or  lime.  This 
fact  is  mentioned  to  show  that  these  spring  deposits,  whether  hot  or  cold, 
extended  far  back  into  the  past,  at  least  to  the  Pliocene  period,  like 
those  iu  the  Yellowstone  Valley.  I  have  no  doubt,  however,  that  the 
springs  of  Bear  Eiver  Valley  were  originally  hot,  perhaps  some  of  them 
geysers  at  a  former  period. 

The  only  method  which  I  could  take  to  ascertain  the  general  geology 
of  the  mountains  on  either  side  of  the  valley  was  to  follow  up  the  gorges 
worn  out  by  some  of  the  little  mountain  streams.  Bast  of  Bennington 
the  quartzites  are  well  exposed,  covering  the  side  and  summits  of 
the  mountains  and  inclining  at  various  angles  towards  the  valley. 
These  quartzites,  although  so  very  hard  and  compact,  have  a  brit- 
tle fracture,  and  the  sides  and  base  of  the  mountains  are  covered 
with  vast  quantities  of  the  debris.  Pollowing  ^long  the  base  of  the 
mountains,  the  limestones  soon  rise  from  beneath  the  quartzites,  and  at 
Joe's  Gap,  near  the  town  of  Bennington,  there  is  a  gorge  in  the  side 
of  the  mountain  that  forms  a  remarkably  clear  section  of  the  strata. 
The  little  stream  that  carved  out  the  gorge  is  now  entirely  dry,  and 
must  be  supplied  in  the  spring  by  the  melting  of  the  snows.  The  gorge 
itself  is  about  300  feet  wide,  with  nearly  vertical  walls  500  feet  high. 
The  upper  200  feet  of  strata  are  very  massive,  yellowish-gray,  hard,  and 
quite  pure  limestone.  The  lower  300  feet  are  composed  of  layers,  vary- 
ing in  thickness  from  an  inch  to  2  feet,  and  very  regular.  The  rock  is 
very  hard,  tough,  bluish  or  steel-gray,  calcareous  mud,  with  all  the 
peculiar  markings  of  a  shallow-water  mud-deposit.  Possils  are  abund- 
ant in  the  limestones.  The  entire  mass  flexes  over  the  sides  of  the 
mountain,  v/ith  a  curve  toward  the  top,  inclining  10°  to  15°,  and  at  the 
base  20°  to  30°.  Of  course,  the  strata  ijass  beneath  the  valley,  and  rise 
again  on  the  opposite  side.  Bear  Eiver  Valley  is  a  synclinal  depres- 
sion. To  the  eastward  a  series  of  three  synclinal  folds  may  be  seen, 
extending  nearly  to  Green  Eiver,  filled  up,  in  some  instances,  with  the 
variegated  beds  of  the  Wahsatch  group.  Above  Bennington  the  val- 
ley begins  to  expand  and  forms  a  wide,  marshy  flat,  with  a  soil  com- 
posed of  rich,  black  earth,  sustaining  a  thick  growth  of  coarse  grass. 
There  is  no  timber  along  the  river  except  willows,  and  the  high  hills 


are  thickly  covered  with  pines.  At  Paris  the  rocks  used  for  building 
purposes  are  obtained  from  the  Wahsatch  group,  in  the  lower  hills,  on 
the  west  side  of  the  river.  From  Montpelier,  for  about  ten  miles  up  the 
valley,  there  is  a  break  in  the  hills  on  the  east  side,  and  they  become 
much  lower ;  but  opposite  Bloomiugton  a  higher  range  comes  in  and 
continues  far  southward.  The  little  streams,  which  are  very  abundant, 
especially  on  the  west  side  of  the  valley,  rise  mostly  at  the  foot  of  the 
hills,  and  vary  from  one  mile  to  four  miles  in  length.  Some  large 
streams,  ten  to  fifteen  yards  wide  and  one  to  two  feet  deep,  flow  into 
Bear  Lake  from  a  group  of  springs  gushing  out  of  the  sides  of  the  hills 
not  over  a  mile  distant.  The  climate  may  be  severe  in  this  valley,  but 
the  inhabitants  are  of  the  belief  that  it  is  becoming  milder  every  year. 
I  was  continually  amazed  at  the  evidences  of  prosperity  everywhere. 
Pleasant  villages  are  located  every  few  miles,  and  in  the  interval  are 
numbers  of  well-improved  farms.  The  soil  of  this  valley  is  more  fertile 
than  that  of  Salt  Lake  Valley,  and  is  better  watered.  There  is  no  lack 
of  springs  and  streams  for  irrigation  or  for  milling  purposes.  The  tim- 
ber is  very  scarce,  but  sufficient  for  fuel  is  obtained  from  the  moun- 
tains, and  there  is  no  limit  to  the  supply  for  building  materials. 

Just  before  reaching  the  lake,  we  leave  the  river  to  the  east  and  enter 
the  Bear  Lake  Valley.  This  must  have  been  a  large  lake  at  one  time, 
at  least  twenty-five  miles  long  and  from  six  to  ten  broad ;  at  the  present 
time  it  is  ten  miles  in  length  and  from  five  to  eight  broad.  At  the 
boundary  line,  between  Idaho  and  Utah,  passing  directly  across  the 
lake  from  east  to  west,  I  was  informed  that  Mr.  Majors,  the  astronomer 
in  charge,  under  the  General  Land-Office,  made  the  width  of  the  lake, 
by  triangulation,  seven  and  one-third  miles.  From  the  mouth  of  Swan 
Creek  the  width  was  at  one  time  measured  with  a  chain  on  the  ice  and 
found  to  be  seven  and  three-fourths  miles.  Soundings  were  also  made 
from  the  mouth  of  Swan  Creek  to  the  opposite  side,  and  the  greatest 
depth  was  determined  to  be  175  feet.  One  mile  west  from  Indian  Creek, 
on  the  east  side,  the  depth  was  137  feet;  so  that  we  may  estimate  the 
average  depth  at  40  to  60  feet.  It  is  a  beautiful  lake,  set  like  an  eme- 
rald among  the  mountains.  Not  even  the  waters  of  the  Yellowstone 
Lake  present  such  vivid  coloring.  Ko  sea-green  hue  could  be  more 
delicate ;  •  and  as  the  waves  rolled  high  by  the  force  of  the  winds,  the 
most  vivid  green  seemed  to  shade  to  a  beautiful,  delicate  blue.  Bear 
Eiver  seems  to  have  been  bent  slightly  out  of  its  course  by  a  range  of 
mountains  which  extends  northward  between  the  lake  and  the  river, 
but  it  suddenly  flexes  back  again,  even  south  of  west,  and  then  flows 
to  the  northwest.  I  was  unable  to  make  an  examination  of  this  portion 
of  the  river,  and  therefore  cannot  present  the  geology  in  detail,  but 
Jiope  to  continue  these  explorations  at  some  future  time. 

By  examining  the  map  it  will  be  seen  that  there  is  but  a  single  range 
of  mountains  between  Cache  Valley  and  Bear  Eiver,  and  that  the 
geological  structure  does  not  differ  materially  from  that  of  the  Wahsatch 
Range  and  its  subordinate  ranges.  We  have  a  vast  thickness  of  very 
hard  quartzites  at  the  base,  and  above  them  a  group  of  limestones, 
which,  so  far  as  Bear  Eiver  Valley  is  concerned,  has  yielded  only  fossils 
of  Carboniferous  species.  Above  the  limestones  are  quartzites  again, 
with  intercalated  layers  of  clay  and  sandstones.  The  lower  quartzites 
appear  to  have  been  partially  metamorphosed,  and  contain  some  quite 
rich  silver  ores.  These  ores  do  not  appear  to  be  found  in  regular  lodes 
but  in  pockets  or  irregular  cavities.  At  the  time  my  party  passed  up 
the  valley  there  was  a  good  deal  of  interest  in  these  mines  among  the 
people,  and  some  very  excellent  specimens  of  the  ores  were  shown  to  us. 


West  of  Bloomington,  Paris,  Saint  Charles,  and  tbe  lake,  a  number  of 
mines  have  been  located.  I  had  the  opportunity  of  examining  but  one 
of  the  mines,  and  that  was  near  the  mouth  of  Swan  Creek.  It  was 
ocated  in  the  quartzites,  as  I  have  described  above.  From  all  the  evi- 
dence that  I  could  obtain,  I  formed  the  opinion  that  these  mines  would 
never  become  very  profitable,  though  quite  interesting  in  a  scientific 
point  of  view.  They  deserve  a  much  more  careful  examination  than  I 
was  able  to  give  them. 

As  I  have  before  stated,  the  valley  of  Bear  Lake  is  most  beautiful, 
fertile,  and  already  well  settled  by  farmers.  There  are  all  the  indica- 
tions of  prosperity,  yet  I  understand  that  the  winters  are  very  severe, 
and  that,  owing  to  the  late  and  early  froets,  crops  are  uncertain.  Still 
the  climate  is  reported  to  be  growing  milder  every  year.  We  may  look 
for  a  moment  at  the  elevation  of  the  valley  above  the  sea.  At  Soda 
Springs,  the  most  northern  point  of  Bear  River  Valley,  the  elevation  is 
5,529  feet;  at  Bear  Eiver  Bridge,  thirty-three  miles  up  the  valley,  5,744 
feet;  at  Swan  Creek,  on  the  west  side  of  the  lake,  twenty-five  miles 
farther  up  the  valley,  5,922  feet.  At  the  extreme  south  end  of  the  lake 
the  elevation  was  found  to  be  5,931  feet.  We  see,  therefore,  while  this 
most  attractive  portion  of  the  valley  is  not  above  6,000  feet,  the  suc- 
cessful raising  of  crops  is  even  yet  somewhat  problematical,  though 
the  parallel  of  latitude  is  only  42°. 

Near  Swan  Creek  there  is  a  fine  exhibition  of  a  local  anticlinal.  The 
beds  of  quartzites  incline  like  a  steep  roof  from  the  west  side  of  the 
mountain,  forming  a  wall  very  near  the  road.  The  inclination  of  the 
quartzites  was  60°,  while  all  along  the  sides  of  the  mountains  the  basalt 
ridges  of  the  strata  are  shown  inclining  in  an  opposite  direction  lOP  to 
15°.  The  east  portion  of  this  anticlinal  is  undoubtedly  due  to  the  wash- 
ing out  of  the  underlying  materials  by  the  waters  of  the  lake  and  the 
breaking  down  of  the  beds  of  quartzite  in  consequence.  The  hills  or 
mountains  on  the  west  side  rise  1,000  to  1,200  feet  above  the  lake.  Bear 
Lake  Valley  is  oval  in  shape  and  at  the  present  time  has  the  appearance 
of  an  anticlinal.  The  high  ranges  of  hills  on  the  west  side  only  present 
the  basalt  edges  of  the  strata  toward  the  lake,  but  it  is  probable  that 
the  western  portion  has  been  swept  away  by  erosion.  It  is  possible  that 
the  system  of  synclinal  folds  or  depressions  extended  along  the  valley, 
but  have  been  worn  away.  At  the  upper  end  are  fragments  of  anticlinal 
ridges,  which  appear  to  have  extended  across  the  area  now  occupied  by 
the  waters  of  the  lake.  On  the  east  side  the  streams  have  cut  deep 
gorges  into  the  hills,  revealing  the  quartzites  as  well  as  the  limestones, 
but  the  variegated  clays,  marls,  and  sandstones  of  the  Wahsatch  group 
repose  unconformably  upon  them,  filling  up  the  irregularities  of  the  sur- 
face and  concealing  the  older  rocks  for  the  most  part.  The  quartzites 
prevail  on  the  west  side,  extending  as  far  southward  as  the  eye  can 
reach,  while  in  the  valley  at  the  extreme  south  end  very  compact 
quartzites,  which  appear  to  be  partially  changed,  crop  out  from  beneath 
the  Carboniferous  limestones. 

After  crossing  Spring  Creek,  near  Laketown,  we  enter  a  deep  caiion 
with  massive  strata  of  limestone,  inclining  about  northeast  50°  to  70°. 
We  have  at  the  bottom,  first,  very  irregular  bedded,  massive,  cherty 
limestone,  with  no  fossils ;  secondly,  a  yellow,  calcareous  sandstone  of 
varied  texture;  thirdly,  limestone  in  tliin  strata,  very  much  warped  or 
bent.  The  upper  limestones  are  much  like  those  in  Joe's  Gap  east  of 
Bennington,  and  are,  no  doubt,  a  continuation  southward  of  the  same 
ridge.  This  ridge,  or  range  of  mountain  hills,  as  it  might  be  termed, 
is  deeply  gashed  by  streams  that  flow  into  the  lake  or  river,  revealing 
sections  of  the  strata  more  or  less  clear.    We  may,  therefore,  state  in 


general  terms  that  tlie  metamorphic  quartzites  crop  out  occasionally, 
though  seldom,  but  high  ridges  of  Carboniferous  limestones,  with  the 
strata  inclining  at  all  angles,  are  frequently  uncovered  over  large  areas. 
From  Soda  Springs  to  the  south  end  of  the  lake,  and  even  much  farther 
southward,  the  high  ranges  of  hills  on  the  east  side  are  composed 
of  a  nucleus  of  limestones  uncovered  here  and  there.  Sometimes  a 
vast  thickness  of  the  variegated  quartzites  conform  to  and  conceal  the 
liDiestones,  while  in  the  intervals  between  these  great  anticlinal  ridges, 
and  sometimes  covering  them,  is  a  vast  thickness  of  the  more  modern 
deposits  of  the  Wahsatch  group.  Ascending  the  divide  eastward  from 
Bear  Lake  Valley,  I  estimated  the  thickness  of  the  older  strata  to  be 
6,000  feet,  4,000  of  which  are  Carboniferous  limestones  and  the  remainder 
quartzites  and  sandstones.  From  the  summit  to  Bear  Eiver  Valley  the 
variegated  beds  of  the  Wahsatch  group  conceal  all  the  older  rocks. 

From  the  divide  we  descended  the  valley  of  Sage  Creek  to  Bear 
Eiver  Valley.  The  Tertiary  strata  are  nearly  horizontal  on  either  side. 
These  rather  modern  beds  partook  of  some  of  the  later  movements,  and 
incline  at  angles  from  1°  to  10°.  The  valley  where  we  entered  it  is  about 
three  miles  in  width,  and  soon  expands  to  five  miles.  About  live  miles 
below  the  village  of  Eandolph,  on  the  east  side  of  Bear  Eiver,  there  is 
one  of  the  ruggedest  walls  of  Carboniferous  limestone  I  have  seen  on  the 
trip.  The  rocks  seem  to  rise  up  from  the  river-bottom  almost  verti- 
cally; the  summits  are  weathered  into  jagged  points,  and  the  sides 
of  the  wall,  from  summit  to  base,  are  gashed  with  dry  canons  or  gulches, 
which  form  splendid  cross-sections  of  the  strata.  The  trend  of  the  ridge 
is  about  northeast  and  southwest ;  the  dip  northwest  60°  to  70^.  The 
limestone  is  usually  pure,  light-gray  color,  not  as  compact  as  usual, 
full  of  fossils,  mostly  in  a  fragmentary  condition.  Still  these  fossils 
show  most  clearly  that  the  limestones  are  of  Carboniferous  age.  This 
range  of  m.ountains,  as  it  might  properly  be  called,  forms  a  very  singu- 
lar exhibition  of  the  dynamic  forces  that  have  produced  the  remark- 
able folds  in  the  older  sedimentary  rocks.  It  may  be  called  an  oblong 
quaquaversal,  or  an  isolated  pulf  or  bulge  in  the  crust.  The  entire 
range  is  not  over  eight  miles  in  length  and  not  over  two  or  three  miles 
wide.  The  limestones  bend  down  from  the  summits  like  the  steep, 
flexible,  convex  roof  of  a  house.  About  three  miles  above  Eandolph, 
at  the  bend  of  the  river,  the  limestone  ridge  breaks  off  suddenly.  On 
the  south  end  the  strata  seem  to  be  inclined  at  a  greater  angle,  in  some 
instances  passing  a  vertical.  A  fragment  has  been  cut  off  at  the  south 
end,  where  a  stream  has  at  some  i^eriod  very  remote  in  the  past  made  its 
way  through.  This  section  shows  the  strata  clearly,  and  as  well  the  way 
they  flex  down  around  the  end  of  the  range.  The  bend  of  Bear  Eiver  is  not 
long,  but  quite  abrupt.  Far  to  the  south  the  country  is  open,  flat,  and 
appears  like  a  river  valley,  surrounded  by  low  hills.  The  character  of 
this  limestone  range  would  indicate  depression  of  the  surrounding 
country  as  one  of  the  causes  of  the  convex  form  of  the  sides.  At  any 
rate,  within  the  space  of  about  ten  miles  from  east  to  west,  there  are 
two  of  these  remarkable  limestone  ridges,  where  3,000  to  4,000  feet  of 
strata  seem  to  be  corrugated  into  quite  remarkable  folds,  with  synclinal 
intervals  that  have  been  filled  up  with  the  modern  Tertiary  beds. 

I  will  not  delay  at  this  time  to  discuss  the  causes  that  may  have  led  to 
this  wrinkling  of  the  crust,  but  simply  state  my  observations  and  wait 
patiently  for  a  greater  array  of  facts.  From  the  bend  of  Bear  Eiver  to 
Evanston  the  strata  are  not  much  disturbed,  usually  not  inclining  more 
than  from  3°  to  10°.  In  the  caiion  southeast  of  the  bend  I  was  in- 
formed that  coal  had  been  found.  From  the  end  of  the  limestone  ridge 
to  the  railroad,  in  every  direction,  the  rocks  exposed  are  not  older  than 


theCoal  group,  probably  Lower  Tertiary  or  Upper  Cretaceous.  AtEvans- 
toii  we  have  the  great  coal-mines,  which  have  been  described  to  some 
extent  in  my  j)revious  reports,  and  are  still  further  described  by  Dr. 
Peale  in  a  subsequent  portion  of  this  report.  The  numerous  species 
of  plants  which  were  found  above  and  below  the  coal-beds  are  described 
in  the  report  of  Professor  Lequereux  on  the  fossil  plants  collected  by 
the  expedition.  I  had  intended  to  add  some  additional  chapters,  and  a 
final  one,  which  should  comprise  a  resume  of  the  geology  of  the  country 
examined  during  the  past  season,  but  the  time  would  not  permit.  It  is 
my  purpose  to  press  on  with  all  the  vigor  possible  to  collect  the  facts 
which  shall  establish  the  age  of  the  diffierent  formations  of  this  portion 
of  the  West  -,  more  especially  to  ascertain  the  relation  the  coal-beds 
sustain  to  the  Cretaceous  and  Tertiary  i)eriods.  , 


The  following  letter  of  Dn  Drown  conveys  so  much  valuable  informa- 
tion in  regard  to  the  chemical  character  of  the  remarkable  Soda  Springs 
at  the  base  of  Pike's  Peak,  Colorado,  that  I  am  glad  to  append  it  to  this 
chapter,  for  the  purpose  of  comparison  with  the  waters  at  Soda  Springs, 
on  Bear  Eiver.  The  letter  is  i)ublished  bj^  permission  of  Dr.  R.  H.  Lam- 
born.  The  information  is  of  greater  interest  to  me,  from  the  fact  that 
the  springs  were  examined  with  some  care  by  my  i)arty  in  1869,  and 
a  short  account  of  them  was  given  in  my  report  of  the  United  States 
Geological  Survey  of  Colorado  and  New  Mexico : 

Laboratory,  209  South  Sixth  Street, 

Philadelphia,  November  11,  1871. 

Dear  Sir  :  I  take  pleasure  in  transmitting  to  you  the  results  of  my 
examination  of  the  salts  placed  in  my  hands  through  the  kindness  of 
yourself  and  Professor  Persifor  Frazer,  jr.  These  salts  were  the  residue 
of  evaporation  of  the  water  of  the  spring  called  the  "  Doctor,"  one  of  the 
well-known  gToup  of  mineral  springs  atthe  foot  of  Pike's-Peak,  Colorado, 
now  reached  by  the  Denver  and  Rio  Grande  Railway;  which  springs,  I 
understand,  now  belong  to  the  Fountain  Colony,  and  are  about  to  be  im- 
proved with  a  view  to  the  utilization  of  their  sanitary  qualities.  The  sub- 
stance submitted  for  analysis  was  obtained  by  Professor  Frazer,  jr.,  from 
the  spring  in  question  when  engaged  on  the  mineralogical  survey  of  C'olo- 
rado  in  1869,  and  was  the  result  of  the  evaporation  of  a  considerable 
quantity  of  water.  The  means  at  hand  for  evaporation  were  so  crude 
that  some  substances,  not  properly  belonging  to  the  water  as  it  comes 
from  the  earth,  have  become  mixed  with  the  material  used  in  my  deter- 
minations ;  but  their  nature  is  such  that  I  think  they  may  be  readily 
eliminated,  leaving  the  ultimate  result  quite  accurate. 

The  result  of  the  analysis  was  as  follows : 

Per  cent. 

Organic  matter 9. 33 

Sesquioxide  of  iron 4. 49 

Alumina 0.  87 

Silica  and  quartz 6. 10 

Lime 5.  64 

Magnesia 2.  57 

Potassium 4.  86 

Sodium 21.  60 

Oxygen  by  calculation 2. 87 



Per  cent. 

Carbonic  acid 11. 80 

Sulpliuric  acid 2.  49 

Chlorine 25.  02 


The  2,36  per  cent,  unaccounted  for  I  consider  to  be  principally  due 
to  a  too  low  determination  of  the  organic  matter,  the  estimation  of 
which  was  attended  with  difficulties,  and  the  small  amount  of  material 
at  my  disposal  precluding  a  redetermination. 

The  organic  matter  found  in  such  large  quantity  was  evidently 
mainly  communicated  to  the  water  during  evaporation,  and  could 
scarcely  have  been  contained  in  the  water  itself.  Professor  Persifor 
Prazer,  jr.,  says  the  spring  is  not  perceptibly  ferruginous,  so  that  the 
iron  found  was  doubtless  from  the  kettle  in  which  the  water  was  evap- 
orated. The  quartz  was  present  in  pieces  of  appreciable  size,  and  must 
bave  been  mechanically  suspended  in  the  effervescing  water.  The 
small  amount  of  alumina  found  may  have  l^een  in  solution  in  the  water, 
but  more  probably  accompanied  the  quartz.  Eliminating  these  sub- 
stances from  the  analysis,  we  may  express  the  composition  of  the  solid 
ingredients  of  the  water  as  follows : 

Per  cent. 

Chloride  of  sodium 33.  96 

Chloride  of  potassium 9.  27 

Carbonate  of  soda 10. 94 

Sulphate  of  soda 4. 42 

Silicate  of  soda 5. 49 

Carbonate  of  lime 10. 07 

Carbonate  of  magnesia '5. 40 

Calculating  these  amounts  on  the  scale  of  100  parts,  and  presuming 
that  the  soda,  in  combination  with  the  silicic  acid,  was  originally  in 
combination  with  carbonic  acid,  and  calculating,  moreover,  the  carbon- 
ated salts  as  bicarbonates,  we  have : 

Per  cent. 

Chloride  of  sodium 36.  09 

Chloride  of  potassium 10.  01 

Bicarbonate  of  soda ." 24.  01 

Sulphate  of  soda 4.  78 

Bicarbonate  of  lime 15. 62 

Bicarbonate  of  magnesia 8. 89 

100.  00 

The  water  of  the  spring  is  thus  shown  to  belong  to  the  class  of 

mineral  waters  characterized  by  a  preponderance  of  alkaline  chlorides 

and  carbonates.    This  class  of  waters  has  its  principal  German  types  in 

the  springs  at  Ems  and 
appended  for  comparison. 

Selters  in  Nassau,  analyses  of  which  are 

Spring,  Ems. 

Selters  Spring 

Doctor  Spring. 

CHoride  of  sodium 

Chloride  of  potassinm 

Bicarbonate  of  soda 

Sulpliate  of  soda 

TJicarbonate  of  lime 

Bicarbonate  of  magnesia. 
Bicarbonate  of  iron 

Per  cent. 


Per  cent. 

0.  85  5  ^~  "^ 
7.  65 


Per  cent, 
10.  01 

15.  C2 




The  Krahuchen  Spring  is  the  one  chiefly  used  for  drinking  at  Ems. 
This  watering-place  is  stated  iu  Dr.  McPherson's  recent  work  to  be  the 
most  popular  woman's  bath  in  Europe :  he  adds  that  this  watering-place 
is  well  suited  for  cases  of  bronchial  and  laryngeal  catarrh. 

From  the  close  correspondence  between  the  Doctor  Spring  and  the 
Selters  Spring,  in  chemical  composition,  we  can  infer  that  the  physiolog- 
ical effects  of  these  waters  will  be  very  similar.  Of  the  far-famed  Sel- 
ters Spring,  which  sui)plies  the  world  annually  with  a  million  and  a  half 
bottles  of  Selters  water,  Dr.  Edwin  Lee  writes:  'Its  action  is,  in  general, 
cooling,  exhilarating,  and  alterative,  improving  vitiated  secretions  of  the 
mucous  membranes,  giving  tone  to  their  glands,  and  promoting  absorp- 
tion. It  may  generally  be  taken  without  risk  by  robust  and  ijletboric 
individuals,  and  is  of  great  service  in  cases  of  torpor  of  the  vascular 
and  glandular  systems,  stomach  derangement,  with  acidity  and  consti- 
pation, tendency  to  gout  in  full  habits,  and  scrofulous  complaints.  The 
Selters  water  would  also  be  serviceable  in  cases  of  irritation  of  the  uri- 
nary organs,  or  tendency  to  the  formation  of  stone  or  gravel  in  chronic 
inflammation  of  the  mucous  membrane  of  the  bladder. 


Egbert  H.  Lamborn,  Esq.,  Vice-President 

Denver  and  Rio  Grande  Bailicay. 

While  my  party  was  engaged  at  Soda  Springs,  I  obtained  some  valua- 
ble information  from  Mr.  Stump,  one  of  the  proprietors  of  the  Oneida 
Salt  Works,  Idaho,  which  indicates  the  existence  of  some  of  the  most 
valuable  salt-springs  on  our  continent.  I  was  not  able  to  visit  them, 
and  these  few  notes  are  given  here  for  the  purpose  of  directing  the 
attention  of  the  public  to  them.  They  are  located  in  a  small  side- valley, 
which  opens  into  Salt  Creek,  a  branch  of  John  Gray's  River,  about 
sixty  miles  northeast  of  Soda  Springs.  They  are  surrounded  with  high 
mountains.  The  little  creek  iu  which  the  springs  are  located  flows 
southeast,  while  the  main  Salt  Creek  runs  northwest.  The  water  is  as 
cold  as  ordinary  spring-water,  and  is  as  clear  as  crystal,  showing  how 
completely  the  saline  matter  is  held  in  solution.  The  market  is  in 
Idaho  and  Montana — mostly  iu  Montana.  The  company  make  6,000 
pounds  of  salt  per  day,  but  the  supply  of  water  would  '^'arrant  25^000 
pounds  per  day.  There  is  another  small  spring,  a  little  distance  from  the 
main  sjorings,  that  yields  water  enough  for  2,000  pounds  of  salt  per  day 
for  a  portion  of  the  year.  It  sells  at  $30  per  ton  at  the  works,  and  the 
demand  is  increasing  every  year.  The  company  began  to  supply  the 
market  in  1866  at  five  cents  per  i)ound.  It  now  sells  at  two  cents  per 
pound.  The  amount  annually  made  by  the  company  for  six  years  past 
is  as  follows : 


1866 100,000 

1867 300,000 

1868 500,000 


1869 650,000 

1870 750,000 

1871 850,000 

Analysis  of  sample  of  salt  from   White   &  iStump  Oneida  Salt    Works, 
Oneida  Gotmty,  Idaho,  by  A.  Snowden  J:'iggot,  M.  D. 

Chloride  of  sodium 97.  79 

Sulphate  of  soda 1.  54 

Chloride  of  calcium 0.  67 

Sulphate  of  magnesia Trace. 

11  as 




[With  a  map.] 

While  the  preceding  chapters  of  this  report  were  passing  through  the 
press,  the  bill  that  was  introduced  into  both  Houses  of  Congress  in  De- 
cember has  become  a  law.  It  will  perhaps  be  proper,  therefore,  to 
devote  a  small  space  to  a  notice  of  this  event,  omitting  the  details  until 
the  more  complete  history  can  be  prepared. 

In  order  that  the  geographical  locality  of  the  reservation,  containing 
within  its  boundaries  the  wonderful  falls,  hot-springs,  geysers,  «&c.,  de- 
scribed in  the  previous  chapters  of  this  report,  may  be  more  clearly 
understood,  I  have  prepared  a  map  expressly  to  show  the  park  with  its 
surroundings,  on  a  scale  of  ten  miles  to  one  inch.  The  report  of  tlie 
Committee  on  Public  Lands,  as  well  as  the  law  itself,  which  is  included 
in  this  chapter,  will  serve  to  explain  the  map  in  general  terms.  A 
glance  at  the  map  will  show  to  the  reader  the  geographical  locality  of 
the  most  beautiful  lake  in  the  world,  set  like  a  gem  among  the  mount- 
ains. He  will  also  see  that  the  mountains  that  wall  it  in  on  every  side 
form  one  of  the  most  remarkable  water-sheds  on  the  continent.  The 
snows  that  fall  on  the  summits  give  origin  to  three  of  the  largest  rivers 
in  North  America.  On  the  north  side  are  the  sources  of  the  Yellowstone ; 
on  the  west,  those  of  the  Three  Forks  of  the  Missouri ;  on  the  southwest 
and  south,  those  of  the  Snake  Eivcr,  flowing  into  the  Columbia  and 
thence  into  the  Pacific  Ocean  ;  and  those  of  Green  Eiver,  rushing  south- 
ward to  join  the  great  Colorado,  and  finally  emptying  into  the  Gulf  of 
California,  while  on  the  east  are  the  numerous  sources  of  Wind  Eiver. 
From  any  point  of  view  which  we  may  select  to  survey  this  remarkable 
region,  it  surpasses,  in  many  respects,  any  other  portion  of  our  conti- 

On  the  18th  of  December,  1871,  a  bill  was  introduced  into  the  Senate 
of  the  United  States  by  Hon.  S.  C.  Pomeroy,  to  set  apart  a  certain 
tract  of  land  lying  near  the  head-w^aters  of  the  Yellowstone  Eiver 
as  a  ]5ublic  park.  About  the  same  time  a  similar  bill  was  offered  in 
the  House  of  Eepresentatives  by  Hon.  William  H.  Claggett,  Delegate 
from  Montana.  After  due  consideration  in  the  Committees  on  Public 
Lands  in  both  Houses,  the  bill  was  reported  favorably.  In  the  Senate 
it  was  ably  advocated  by  Messrs.  Pomeroy,  Edmunds,  Trumbull, 
.Anthony,  and  others.  In  the  House  the  remarks  of  Hon.  H.  L.  Dawes 
were  so  clear  and  forcible  that  the  bill  passed  at  once  without  opposi- 

I  have  thus  presented  a  brief  history  of  the  passage  of  this  bill  be- 
cause I  believe  it  will  mark  an  era  in  the  popular  advancement  of  scien- 
tific thought,  not  only  in  this  country,  but  throughout  the  civilized 

That  our  legislators,  at  a  time  when  public  opinion  is  so  strong  against 
appropriating  the  public  domain  for  any  purppse  however  laudable, 
should  reserve,  for  the  benefit  and  instruction  of  the  people,  a  tract  of 
3,578  square  miles,  is  an  act  that  should  cause  universal  joy  throughout 
the  land.  This  noble  deed  may  be  regarded  as  a  tribute  from  our  legis- 
lators to  science,  and  the  gratitude  of  the  nation  and  of  men  of  science 
in  all  parts  of  the  world  is  due  them  for  this  munificent  donation. 


tmeiit  of  the  Interior 
Dal  Survey  of  the  Territorie  s 


!  made  under  tKe  direction,  of 

jxd  other  autVtoritAes 


Mr.  Bunnell,  from  the  Committee  on  the  Public  Lands,  made  the 
following  report: 

Tlie  Committee  on  the  Puhlic  Lands,  having  had  under  consideration  hill 
M.  R.  764,  would  re;port  as  follows : 

The  bill  now  before  Congress  has  for  its  object  the  withdrawal  from 
settlement,  occupancy,  or  sale,  under  the  laws  of  the  United  States,  a 
tract  of  land  fifty-five  by  sixty-five  miles,  about  the  sources  of  the  Yel- 
lowstone and  Missouri  Eivers,  and  dedicates  and  sets  it  apart  as  a  great 
national  park  or  pleasure-ground  for  the  benefit  and  enjoyment  of  the 
l)eople.  The  entire  area  comprised  within  the  limits  of  the  reservation 
contemplated  in  this  bill  is  not  susceptible  of  cultivation  with  any  de- 
gree of  certainty,  and  the  winters  would  be  too  severe  for  stock-raising. 
Whenever  the  altitude  of  the  mountain  districts  exceeds  6,000  feet 
above  tide-water,  their  settlement  becomes  problematical  unless  there 
are  valuable  mines  to  attract  people.  The  entire  area  within  the  limits 
of  the  proposed  reservation  is  over  6,000  feet  in  altitude,  and  the  Yel- 
loAvstone  Lake,  which  occupies  an  area  fifteen  by  twenty-two  miles,  or 
three  hundred  and  thirty  square  miles,  is  7,427  feet.  The  ranges  of 
mountains  that  hem  the  valleys  in  on  every  side  rise  to  the  height  of 
10,000  »nd  12,000  feet,  and  are  covered  with  snow  all  the  year.  These 
mountains  are  all  of  volcanic  origin,  and  it  is  not  probable  that  any 
mines  or  minerals  of  value  will  ever  be  found  there.  During  the  months 
of  June,  July,  and  August  the  climate  is  pure  and  most  invigorating, 
with  scarcely  any  rain  or  storms  of  any  kind,  but  the  thermometer 
frequently  sinks  as  low  as  26°.  There  is  frost  every  month  of  the  year. 
This  whole  region  was,  in  comparatively  modern  geological  times,  the 
scene  of  the  most  wonderful  volcanic  activity  of  any  portion  of  our 
country.  The  hot  springs  and  the  geysers  represent  the  last  stages — 
the  vents  or  escape-pipes — of  these  remarkable  volcanic  manifestalious 
of  the  internal  forces.  All  these  springs  are  adorned  with  decorations 
more  beautiful  than  human  art  ever  conceived,  and  which  have  required 
thousands  of  years  for  the  cunning  hand  of  nature  to  form.  Persons 
are  now  waiting  for  the  spring  to  open  to  enter  in  and  take  i)ossession 
of  these  remarkable  curiosities,  to  make  merchandise  of  these  beautiful 
specimens,  to  fence  in  these  rare  wonders,  so  as  to  charge  visitors  a  fee, 
as  is  now  done  at  Niagara  Falls,  for  the  sight  of  that  which  ought  to  be 
as  free  as  the  air  or  water. 

In  a  few  years  this  region  will  be  a  place  of  resort  for  all  classes  of 
people  I'rom  all  portions  of  the  world.  The  geysers  of  Iceland,  wliich 
have  been  objects  of  interest  for  the  scientific  men  and  travelers  of  the 
entire  world,  sink  into  insignificance  in  comparison  with  the  hot  springs 
of  the  Yellowstone  and  Fire-Hole  Basins.  As  a  place  of  resort  lor  in- 
valids, it  will  not  be  excelled  by  any  portion  of  the  world.  If  this  bill 
fails  to  become  a  law  this  session,  the  vandals  who  are  now  waiting  to 
enter  into  this  wonder-land  will,  in  a  single  season,  despoil,  beyond  re- 
covery, these  remarkable  curiosities,  which  have  required  all  the  cunning 
skill  of  nature  thousands  of  years  to  prepare.    . 

We  have  already  shown  that  no  portion  of  this  tract  can  ever  be  made 
available  for  agricultural  or  mining  purposes.  Even  if  the  altitude  and 
the  climate  would  permit  the  country  to  be  made  available,  not  over 
fifty  square  miles  of  the  entire  area  could  ever  be  settled.  The  valleys 
are  all  narrow,  hemmed  in  by  high  volcanic  mountains  like  gigantic 


The  withdrawal  of  this  tract,  therefore,  from  sale  or  settlement  takes 
nothing  from  the  value  of  the  public  domain,  and  is  no  pecuniary  loss 
to  the  Government,  but  will  be  regarded  by  the  entire  civilized  world 
as  a  step  of  progress  and  an  honor  to  Congress  and  the  nation. 

Department  op  the  Inteeioe, 

Washington,  D.  C,  January  29,  1872. 

SiE:  I  have  the  honor  to  acknowledge  the  receipt  of  your  communi- 
cation of  the  27th  instant,  relative  to  the  bill  now  i)ending  in  the  House 
of  Eepresentatives  dedicating  that  tract  of  country  known  as  the  Yel- 
lowstone Yalley  as  a  national  park. 

I  hand  you  hereT\ith  the  report  of  Dr.  F.  Y.  Hayden,  United  States 
geologist,  relative  to  said  proposed  reservation,  and  have  only  to  add 
that  I  fully  concur  in  his  recommendations,  and  trust  that  the  bill 
referred  to  may  speedily  become  a  law. 

Yery  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant. 

0.  DELANO, 

Hon.  M.  H.  DuNNELL, 

House  of  Bepresentatives. 

The  committee,  therefore,  recommend  the  passage  of  the  bill  without 

[General  natuee — No.  16.] 

AN  ACT  to  set  apart  a  certain  tract  of  land  lying  near  the  liead-waters  of  the  YelloTV- 
stone  Eiver  as  a  public  park. 

Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and  Souse  of  Representatives  of  the  United 
States  of  America  in  Congress  assembled,  That  the  tract  of  land  in  the 
Territories  of  Montana  and  Wyoming,  lying  near  the  head- waters  of  the 
Yellowstone  Eiver,  and  described  as  follows,  to  wit,  commencing  at  the 
junction  of  Gardiner's  Eiver  with  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  and  running 
east  to  the  meridian  i^assiug  ten  miles  to  the  eastward  of  the  most  east- 
ern point  of  Yellowstone  Lake  ,•  thence  south  along  said  meridian  to  the 
parallel  of  latitude  passing  ten  miles  south  of  the  most  southern  point 
of  Yellowstone  Lake;  thence  west  along  said  parallel  to  the  meridian 
I)assing  fifteen  miles  west  of  the  most  western  point  of  Madison  Lake; 
thence  north  along  said  meridian  to  the  latitude  of  the  junction  of  the 
Yellowstone  and  Gardiner's  Eivers;  thence  east  to  the  place  of  beginning, 
is  hereby  reserved  and  withdrawn  from  settlement,  occupancy,  or  sale 
under  the  laws  of  the  United  States,  and  dedicated  and  set  apart  as  a 
public  park  or  pleasuring-ground  for  the  benefit  and  enjoyment  of  the 
people ;  and  all  persons  who  shall  locate  or  settle  upon  or  occupy  the 
same,  or  any  part  thereof,  except  as  hereinafter  provided,  shall  be  con- 
sidered trespassers  and  removed  therefrom. 

Sec.  2.  That  said  public  park  shall  be  under  the  exclusive  control  of 
the  Secretary  of  the  Interior,  whose  duty  it  shall  be,  as  soon  as  practi- 
cable, to  make  and  publish  such  rules  and  regulations  as  he  may  deem 
necessary  or  proper  for  the  care  and  management  of  the  same.  Such 
regulations  shall  i)rovide  for  the  preservation,  from  injury  or  spoliation, 
of  all  timber,  mineral  deposits,  natural  curiosities,  or  wonders  within 


said  park,  and  their  retention  in  their  natural  condition.  The  Secretary 
may,  in  his  discretion,  grant  leases  for  building  purposes  for  terms  not 
exceeding  ten  years,  of  small  parcels  of  ground,  at  such  i^laces  in  said 
park  as  shall  require  the  erection  of  buildiDgs  for  the  accommodation  of 
visitors ;  all  of  the  proceeds  of  said  leases,  and  all  other  revenues  that 
may  be  derived  from  any  source  connected  with  said  i3ark,  to  be  ex- 
pended under  his  direction  in  the  management  of  the  same,  and  the 
construction  of  roads  and  bridle-paths  therein.  He  shall  provide  against 
the  wanton  destruction  of  the  fish  and  game  found  within  said  park, 
and  against  their  capture  or  destruction  for  the  purposes  of  merchandise 
or  profit.  He  shall  also  cause  all  persons  trespassing  upon  the  same 
after  the  passage  of  this  act  to  be  removed  therefrom,  and  generally 
shall  be  authorized  to  take  all  such  measures  as  shall  be  necessary  or 
proper  to  fully  carry  out  the  objects  and  purposes  of  this  act. 
Approved  March  1,  1872. 


report  of  a.   c.  peale,  m.  d.,  on  minerals,  rocks,  thermal 

springs,  &c. 

Washington,  D.  C. 

Dear  Sir  :  I  have  the  honor  to  transmit  herewith  my  preliminary 
report  on  the  minerals,  rocks,  and  thermal  springs  met  with  during 
the  explorations  of  this  summer. 

I  commence  at  Ogden,  Utaii  Territory,  our  starting-point,  and  describe 
the  minerals,  rocks,  and  springs  encountered  by  the  expedition  through- 
out the  whole  trip.  To  study  the  mineral  resources  of  a  country  to  the 
best  advantage  requires  that  we  should  have  an  abundance  of  time  to 
devote  to  each  locality,  working  on  our  knees,  as  it  were,  with  drill  and 
hammer.  As  the  greater  part  of  our  time  was  sj)ent  on  the  march,  such 
a  course  was  impracticable ;  1  therefore  confined  myself  to  the  collec- 
tion and  general  investigation  of  specimens- 
Six  hundred  and  twenty-seven  specimens  of  rocks,  with  over  one 
thousand  specimens  of  minerals,  including  those  from  the  hot  springs, 
have  been  deposited  in  the  Smithsonian  Institution.  Catalogues  of  the 
minerals  and  rocks  are  appended  to  this  report. 

I  insert  qualitative  analyses  of  the  waters  of  the  principal  geysers 
and  hot  springs.  In  so  doing,  I  feel  a  hesitancy,  for  the  field  is  so  vast 
that  to  develop  it  thoroughly  would  require  the  work  of  years,  and  the 
number  I  present  is  but  as  a  drop  of  water  in  the  ocean. 

I  had  hoped  to  embody  in  this  report  a  larger  number  of  quantitative 
analyses,  but  the  time  has  been  limited,  and  there  have  been  interrup- 
tions that  have  rendered  it  impossible. 

I  append  a  catalogue  of  the  hot  springs  of  which  the  temperatures 
were  recorded,  giving  their  position,  elevation,  character,  principal  con- 
stituents, highest,  lowest,  and  average  temijeratures,  together  with  the 
temperature  of  the  air  at  the  time  of  observation. 

In  regard  to  mining  operations,  I  have  not  attemjited  to  make  any 
report.  We  passed  through  but  a  small  portion  of  the  mining  districts, 
so  that  any  such  report  would  be  incomplete. 

In  conclusion,  I  wish  to  express  my  thanks  to  the  members  of  the  ex- 
pedition for  their  assistance  and  co-operation,  and  also  to  Judge  Lovell, 
of  Virginia  City,  Montana  Territory,  and  C.  T.  Deuel,  esq.,  of  Evanston, 

166       GEOLOGICAL  SUEVEY  OF  THE  TEEEITOEIES.,  for  information  afforded  me.    I  would  also  refer  to  the  uniform 
kindness  and  courtesy  extended  to  us  at  the  various  military  posts. 

Hoping  this  report  may  meet  all  requirements,  I  am,  very  respectfully, 
your  obedient  servant, 

A.  C.  PEALE. 
Dr.  F.  V.  Hayden, 

United  States  Geologist. 

Ogden  City,  in  Utah  Territory,  is  situated  at  the  western  base  of  the 
Wahsatch  Mountains,  in  the  Salt  Lake  Basin.  It  is  between  the  Ogden 
and  Weber  Eivers,  and  is  the  point  where  the  Union  Pacific,  tlie  Cen- 
tral Pacific,  and  the  Utah  Central  Railroads  effect  a  junction.  The  town 
contains  about  six  thousand  inhabitants,  and  is  built  partly  on  the  ter- 
race that  skirts  the  base  of  the  mountains,  and  partly  on  the  level  bot- 
tom through  which  the  rivers  flow.  Its  streets  are  all  wide  and  lined 
with  beautiful  trees,  while  on  each  side  flows  a  clear  stream  of  fresh 

The  Wahsatch  Eange  e:^tends  north  and  south,  its  gray  peaks  being 
snow-crowned  the  greater  part  of  the  year.  Our  first  camp  after  leav- 
ing Cheyenne,  Wyoming  Territory,  was  on  one  of  the  terraces,  about  a 
mile  from  the  foot  of  the  mountains,  which  are  cut  into  sections  by 
numerous  caiaons.  They  interse(jt  the  range  at  right  angles  to  the  trend. 
One  of  them,  Ogden  Canon,  I  visited  as  typical  of  the  others.  The ' 
rocks  at  the  mouth  of  the  caiion  I  found  to  be  syenites  of  a  red  color, 
and  having  a  specific  gravity  of  2.6.  The  feldspar  in  it  was  a  flesh-col- 
ored orthoclase  alone.  The  only  veins  noticeable  were  some  illy  defined 
of  quartz  and  feldspar.  These  syenites  must  in  places  pass  into  granites, 
for  a  specimen  brought  me  I  found  to  be  a  protogine  containing  a  green 
talc,  which,  with  the  flesh-colored  feldspar  and  white  quartz,  formed  a 
beautiful  specimen.  The  rock,  however,  could  not  be  located.  In  this 
syenite,  at  the  distance  of  probably  half  a  mile  to  the  south  of  Ogden 
Canon,  some  prospecters  have  claimed  to  have  discovered  tin  ore.  In 
the  specimens  brought  me  I  failed  to  discover  even  a  trace  of  tin.  Upon 
the  syenites  very  thick  beds  of  quartzites  lie.  They  are  mostly  of  a 
white  color.  In  some  places,  however,  they  are  dark-brown,  and  highly 
ferruginous.  The  specific  gravity  of  these  quartzites  varies  from  2.5  to 
2.6.  They  extend  for  some  distance  and  dip  at  an  angle  of  about  80°. 
I  found,  also,  a  metamorphic  conglomerate,  composed  of  beautiful  red 
and  pink , siliceous  pebbles  imbedded  in  a  light-gray  siliceous  matrix. 
The  quartzites  are  succeeded  by  quartz  schists,  which  in  turn  pass  irtto 
a  dark  cherty  or  siliceous  limestone.  This  limestone  produces  an  excel- 
lent quality  of  lime,  which  has  been  used  by  the  Union  Pacific  Railroad 
Company  in  building  their  engine-houses.  There  are  in  the  caiion  three 
lime-kilns  in  active  operation. 

Farther  up  the  caiion  than  I  was  able  to  go,  I  was  told  there  was  a 
ledge  of  silver  ore  that  promises  to  pay  well.  A  piece  of  ore  that  was 
handed  me,  and  alleged  to  be  from  the  same,  yielded,  on  examination, 
both  silver  and  copper.  I  was  also  given  a  piece  of  coal  said  to  be 
from  some  distance  up  the  canon. 

We  left  Ogden  on  the  morning  of  June  10,  and  took  up  our  line  of 
march,  traveling  in  a  northwesterly  direction  along  the  base  of  the 
mountains,  around  Bear  River  Bay,  and  in  the  afternoon  ^amped  in  a 
beautiful,  small,  green  valley,  having  gone  ten  miles.  Isicar  our  camp 
were  situated  some  hot  springs,  very  noticeable  from  the  abundant, 


deep  crimson-colored  deposit  about  them.  There  are  a  number  of  springs 
at  the  base  of  a  spur  of  the  mountain  range  which  is  to  the  east  of  them. 
The  average  temperature  of  the  water  was  129°  F.,  the  temperature  of 
the  air  at  the  time  of  observation  being  83°  F.  The  highest  temijera- 
ture  was  found  in  one  of  the  smaller  southern  springs,  and  was  136°  F.; 
while  at  the  distance  of  100  feet  to  the  west  of  it  the  lowest  tempera- 
ture, 109°  F.,  was  found.  The  principal  spring  was  almost  circular  in 
shape,  and  from  12  to  15  feet  in  diameter  and  5  feet  in  depth.  Its  tem- 
perature was  128°  F.  some  distance  from  its  edge,  although  probably 
higher  in  the  center,  beyond  the  reach  of  the  thermometer.  The  taste 
of  the  water  was  decidedly  bitter  and  salty.  In  all  of  the  springs  there 
was  at  intervals  a  slight  bubbling  of  carbonic  acid  gas.  At  no  time 
during  observation,  however,  was  it  considerable.  Ko  other  volatile 
substances  were  discovered.  The  specific  gravity  of  the  water  was 
1019,  and  an  analysis  revealed  the  following  constituteuts  : 

Chloride  of  sodium,  (common  salt,)  very  abundant, 

Sulphate  of  lime. 

Magnesia,  ^ 

Lime,         >  as  carbonates. 

Iron,  ) 

The  amount  of  iron  was  small,  from  its- having  been  thrown  down  by 
the  escape  of  the  carbonic  acid  gas  at  the  time  of  examination.  A  con- 
siderable area  around  the  springs  is  covered  with  a  deposit  of  iron,  the 
bright-red  color  of  which  contrasts  well  with  the  green  of  the  surround- 
ing vegetation.  In  isolated  spots,  as  well  as  on  some  of  the  rocks  near 
the  water,  there  is  a  wiiite  deposit.  Between  the  springs  and  the  lake 
or  bay  there  extend  salt  marshes  or  flats  for  the  distance  of  three  or  four 

Leaving  our  camp  on  the  12th,  we  resumed  our  way  in  an  almost 
northerly  direction,  until  we  neared  Brigham  City,  when  w^e  turned  to 
the  right  and  entered  Box  Elder  CaSon,  another  of  those  gorges  cut 
through  the  mountains  at  right  angles  to  its  trend.  Our  way  was  now 
upward  for  eight  miles  through  the  caiion — grass-covered  hills  with  here 
and  there  projecting  rocks  rising,  high  on  either  side  of  us,  while  at  our 
feet  rushed  a  swift  stream,  its  banks  fringed  with  elder-bushes.  The 
rocks  here  are  identical  with  those  in  Ogden  Caiion.  In  the  evening 
we  camped  in  Box  Elder  Park,  about  500  feet  above  the  level  of  the 
Salt  Lake,  near  the  J3anish  settlement  of  Copenhagen.  The  park  is 
almost  circular  in  shape,  and  is  about  two  miles  in  diameter,  encircled 
by  rounded  hills  composed  of  dark  siliceous  limestone.  Between  this 
point  and  Cache  Yalley,  a  distance  of  almost  thirteen  miles,  our  road  led 
us  now  up  hill  and  now  down,  past  masses  of  dark -blue  Carboniferous 
or  mountain  limestones,  containing  white  calcite  with  perfect  cleavage. 
Tliey  are  fossiliferous.  Just  before  reaching  Wellesville,  our  camping- 
place,  there  was  a  change  to  calcareous  sandstones  of  a  light-gray  color. 
The  scene  as  we  emerged  from  the  mountains  was  grand.  Before  us 
lay  Cache  Yalley,  dotted  with  numerous  Mormon  towns.  It  is  one  of 
the  best  cultivated  districts  in  Utah,  and,  clothed  in  its  spring  garb, 
presented  a  beautiful  appearance.  It  is  about  fifty-four  miles  in  length 
and  will  average  about  seven  miles  in  width.  The  rocks  in  the  moun- 
tains on  either  side  are  limestones  and  quartzites.  Near  Mendon  there 
occurs  an  oolitic  limestone,  which  is  much  used  for  building  purposes 
throughout  the  valley.  Onr  course  on  the  14th  and  15th  lay  through 
Cache  Valley.  At  the  upper  end  is  the  town  of  Franklin.  To  the  west 
of  the  town  there  is  a  large,  isolated  hutfe,  the  basis  of  which  is  a  blue 
limestone  containing  a  percentage  of  silica.    This  stands  in  the  middle 


of  tlie  valley  like  some  monument,  the  surrounding  rock  having  been 
washed  away.  On  June  16  we  crossed  Bear  Eiver  and  found  immedi- 
ately a  change  in  the  rocks.  Instead  of  limestone  we  came  across  green- 
stone, among  which  I  obtained  specimens  of  aphanite  and  melaphyre, 
the  latter  amygdaloidal  in  places.  The  specific  gravity  of  some  of  these 
specimens  is  as  follows  :  three  specimens  of  dark-green  aphanite,  2.5 ; 
and  two  specimens  of  melaphyre,  3.1.  Continuing  for  about  five  miles, 
they  are  intercepted  by  quartzites  containing  a  small  percentage  of 

About  three  miles  above  the  town  of  Oxford  I  found  some  men  mining 
for  silver.  W.  J.  Cooper,  of  Oxford,  is  the  owner  of  the  lode,  which  is  7 
feet  wide,  and  dips  west  at  an  angle  of  about  40°.  The  strike  is  north 
and  south.  The  wall-rock  on  either  side  is  greenstone.  The  gangue 
of  the  lode  is  composed  of  quartz,  with  calcite  and  feldspar.  Some  good 
crystals  of  calcite  were  seen,  and  also  brown  spar,  (rhomb  spar.)  The 
ore  is  principally  chloride,  reddish  and  greenish.  A  shaft  has  been 
commenced,  but  has  reached  only  the  depth  of  30  feet. 

Six  miles  above  Oxford  we  entered  Marsh  Creek,  or  Eound  Yalley, 
passing  from  Utah  into  Idaho  Territory.  The  entrance  to  this  valley  is 
between  two  high  huttes,  one  consisting  of  a  ferruginous  sandstone  of 
a  bright-red  color  on  its  weathered  surfaces,  the  other  composed  of  a 
bluish  siliceous  limestone.  Passing  through  this  natural  gateway,  we 
were  in  an  old  lake  basin,  the  rocks  being  modern  Pliocene  sandstones 
of  a  white  color,  all  containing  some  lime.  The  road  soon  ascended  to 
the  top  of  a  terrace  of  drift  formation,  covered  with  a  sparse  growth  of 
sage-brush.  Leaving  this  valley  the  following  day,  June  18th,  we  en- 
tered the  valley  of  the  Port  Neuf  Eiver.  Just  before  entering  the  valley 
we  passed  over  a  floor-like  layer  of  dark  basaltic  rock.  We  followed 
the  river  on  its  right  bank.  All  along  the  left  bank  there  is  a  layer  of 
basaltic  rock,  its  hexagonal  columnar  form  reminding  one  of  the  Giant's 
Causeway.  The  formation  over  which  our  road  led  us  was  drift,  while 
the  hills  on  our  right  presented  alternations  of  limestones  and  quartzites 
succeeding  each  other  at  short  intervals.  There  seems  to  have  been 
some  point  higher  up  the  valley  from  which  the  molten  mass  flowed 
during  the  Tertiary  x3eriod,  for  the  formation  on  which  it  rests  is  Tertiary. 

In  crevices  in  the  rock  in  many  places  I  obtained  specimens  of  obsi- 
dian. As  we  neared  the  mouth  of  the  valley  it  became  wider  and  wider, 
and  the  mountains  receded  until  they  spread  out  into  the  Snake  Eiver 

Emerging  into  the  valley  we  turned  to  the  right  and  crossed  the  bills 
to  Fort  Hall,  a  post  that  has  only  recently  been  established,  in  Idaho 
Territory.  We  arrived  there  on  the  21st  of  June.  The  following  day 
I  made  a  visit  to  some  warm  springs  in  Lincoln  Valley,  about  three 
miles  southeast  of  the  fort.  I  found  five  springs  situated  at  the  head  of 
a  depression  in  the  valley,  whose  direction  was  east  and  west.  They 
gush  forth  from  the  foot  of  the  hills,  the  bases  of  which  are  limestones. 
In  spring  No.  1,  which  was  the  warmest,  the  thermometer  recorded 
87°  F.  It  was  about  a  foot  in  diameter,  nearly  circular,  and  9  inches  in 
depth.  The  next  two,  No.  2  and  No.  3,  to  the  southeast  of  No.  1, 
had  equal  temperatures,  each  being  77°  F.  Only  one  of  these  was 
defined  as  a  spring,  being  3  feet  in  diameter  and  2  feet  in  depth.  In  the 
other  the  water  merely  poured  forth  from  the  rocks  in  a  narrow  stream. 
No.  4  and  No.  5  were  of  the  same  character  as  the  last  mentioned,  and 
readied  each  the  temperature  of  09°  F.  They  were  still  more  to  the 
east.  The  water  in  all  was  beautifully  clear,  due  to  the  presence  of  car- 
bonate of  lime.    The  specific  gravity  of  the  water  was  1003,  and  con- 


tained  carbonate  of  lime,  and  alnmina  probablj"  as  a  sulpbate.  There 
was  no  perceptible  evolution  of  gas.  In  the  course  of  the  stream  there 
■was  a  deposit  of  lime,  small  in  quantity,  incrusting  grass,  moss,  and 

About  a  mile  east  of  the  fort  I  found  a  number  of  hills,  whose  bases  are 
fine-grained  red  sandstones  of  very  free  quality.  It  would  make  a  very 
good  ornamental  building-stone.  The  rocks  that  succeed  and  lie  upon 
them  are  Jurassic  limestones,  containing  an  abundance  of  fossils.  We 
left  Fort  Hall  on  the  23d  of  June,  and  until  the  28th  were  in  the  Snake 
Eiver  Valley,  a  wide  plain  covered  with  sand  and  sage-brush.  For 
ninety  miles  nothing  else  was  passed  over  save  here  and  there  exposures 
of  dark  basaltic  rock,  which  seems  to  be  spread  out  over  the  entire  plain. 
At  some  time,  during  or  since  the  Tertiary  period,  the  plain  must  have 
been  flooded  with  molten  lava,  which  came,  in  all  likelihood,  from  sev- 
eral points  of  eruption.  As  we  came  down  the  Port  Neuf  Eiver  we 
could  see  in  the  distance  what  appeared  to  be  an  old  crater,  and  on  our 
way  across  the  Snake  River  Basin  we  passed  another. 

At  Eagle  Eock  we  crossed  Snake  Eiver  on  Taylor's  bridge.  The 
river  here  has  cut  a  narrow  gorge  through  the  rock,  forming  quite  a 
canon.  The  rock  rises  10  feet  above  the  level  of  the  water.  The  cur- 
rent is  very  swift.  The  rock  shows  the  hexagonal  columns,  so  charac- 
teristic of  the  cooling  of  the  molten  mass.  At  "  Hole-in-the-Eock,"  on 
Dry  Creek,  we  had  an  opportunity  of  proving  that  the  lava  extends 
over  the  valley  like  a  crust,  for  the  most  part  at  least  simply,  and  not 
in  the  form  of  dikes.  Here  we  visited  a  cave,  which  has  been  formed 
by  the  water  flowing  beneath  the  basalt  and  washing  out  the  sand. 
The  entrance  to  the  cave  is  formed  by  a  falling  in  of  the  crust.  Clam- 
bering down  over  the  broken  fragments,  we  discovered  seven  chambers. 
There  were  two  entrances,  one  to  the  northwest  and  the  other  to  the 
southeast.  In  the  flrst-named  direction  we  found  three  chambers,  each 
about  25  feet  in  height  and  200  feet  in  diameter,  they  being  almost  cir- 
cular. The  chambers  are  separated  from  each  other  by  loose,  fallen 
rock.  After  penetrating  as  far  as  possible  we  retraced  our  steps,  and 
were  about  leaving  the  place,  when  we  discovered  an  aperture  just 
large  enough  to  admit  oiie  at  a  time,  leading  toward  the  southeast. 
Entering  this  we  found  four  chambers  separated  from  each  other  by 
piles  of  loose,  fallen  rock,  as  in  those  on  the  opposite  side.  Instead  of 
being  circular  these  were  oblong  in  shape,  each  being  about  300  feet  in 
length  and  150  feet  wide,  the  height  being  20  feet.  Each  succeeding 
chamber  is  somewhat  lower  than  the  preceding.  The  roof  is  arched 
and  composed  of  dark  basaltic  rock.  From  it  there  hang  innumerable 
small  stalactitic  formations,  caused  by  the  percolation  of  the  water 
through  the  rock.  There  are  also  numbers  of  air-bubbles  in  the  rock, 
which  hang  from  the  roof  in  drop-like  processes,  forming  points  for  the 
formation  of  stalactites.  The  bottom  of  the  cave  is  sandy ;  and  in  a 
hole  dug  to  the  depth  of  20  feet,  it  was  observed  to  be  distinctly  strat- 
ified, showing  it  to  have  been  deposited  by  water.  That  this  condi- 
tion extends  over  the  whole  valley  is  further  presumable,  from  the  fact 
that  a  considerable  number  of  the  streams  flowing  through  it  sink  and 
are  lost  to  sight.  Their  disappearance  is  easily  accounted  for  by  their 
flowing  underneath  this  crust. 

On  the  28th  of  June  we  left  the  Snake  Eiver  Basin,  and  entering 
Beaver  Head  Canon,  began  to  ascend  on  our  way  across  the  main  divide 
of  the  Eocky  Mountains.  The  igneous  rocks  were  still  present.  At  the 
mouth  of  the  caiion  we  passed  an  isolated  hill,  composed  of  schistose, 
or  slaty  phonolite,  each  layer  being  one-eighth  of  an  inch  in  thickness 


and  porphyritic.  Its  specific  gravity  is  2.39.  On  reaching  the  top  of 
the  canon  we  encamped  in  Pleasant  Valley,  a  beantiful  little  valley  set 
in  the  mountains  like  a  gem.  Its  elevation  is  6,086  feet.  Near  onr 
camp  was  a  deep,  narrow  gorge  cut  through  rock,  which,  on  examina- 
tion, proved  to  be  a  true  porphyritic  phonolite,  having  disseminated 
through  it  crystals  of  sanidine,  nepheline,  and  haiiynite.  The  rock  is 
of  a  dark-gray  color,  very  compact,  having  a  specific  gravity  of  2.75; 
the  crystals  occurring  in  spots,  occupying  about  a  quarter  of  an  inch 
each,  and  from  one  to  two  inches  apart.  The  haiiynite  occurs  as  red- 
dish, octagonal  crystals.  The  nepheline  is  the  variety  sommite,  and  is 
in  small  grains ;  while  the  sanidine,  or  orthoclase,  is  in  tabular  crys- 
tals. I  insert  here  the  mineralogical  composition  of  some  phonolites 
of  Bohemia,  given  by  G.  Jenzsch : 

Per  cent. 

Sanidine,  estimated  at 53. 55 

Nepheline,  estimated  at 31.  76 

Hornblende,  (arvendsonite) 9.  34 

Titanite 3.  67 

Pyrites , 0.  04 

I  shall  take  the  earliest  opportunity  of  making  a  chemical  analysis  of 
this  rock.  The  occurrence  of  these  phonolites  would  go  far  toward 
proving  the  age  of  the  eruption,  even  though  we  had  not  the  Tertiary 
formations  beneath  it,  for  no  true  phonolite  has  been  found  to  be  of 
other  than  Tertiary  or  still  more  recent  origin.  The  following  day  we 
continued  on  our  way  across  the  mountains,  passing  over  the  divide, 
the  elevation  of  which  was  7,044  feet.  The  more  modern  rocks  were 
conglomerates,  presenting  little  or  no  interest.  I  obtained  some  speci- 
mens of  trachyte,  which  are  vesicular,  of  a  white  color,  having  a  reddish 
tinge  in  some  parts.  I  also  obtained  specimens  of  a  vesicular  rock, 
whi(ih  I  consider  to  be  a  phonolite,  although  I  had  not  the  opportunity 
of  observing  it  in  position.  One  of  the  specimens  was  of  a  dark-gray 
color,  having  a  specific  gravity  of  2.57.  The  specific  gravity  of  the  light 
varieties  was  2.3.  After  crossing  the  divide  our  way  lay  over  Pliocene 
formations,  in  which  I  obtained  a  white  sandstone  composed  of  very 
fine  pebbles,  cemented  by  a  calcareous  matrix.  The  older  rocks  were 
limestone  conglomerates,  upon  which  rested  white  and  red  sandstones. 

The  30th  of  June  we  spent  in  camp,  visiting  a  peak  near  us  where  we 
found  the  limestone  conglomerates  at  the  base  with  sandstones  on 
top.  The  next  day  our  route  was  through  a  rolling  country,  now  pass- 
ing over  a  hill  and  now  through  the  valley  of  a  small  stream.  I  procured 
specimens  of  a  very  compact,  dark  phonolite,  having  a  specific  gravity 
of  2.4.  The  recent  rocks  were  of  Pliocene  origin.  Some  of  them  consist 
of  very  small,  bluish,  siliceous  pebbles  in  a  white,  siliceous  matrix.  Upon 
these  were  grayish  calcareous  sandstones,  also  Pliocene.  They  consist 
of  minute  red  and  black  pebbles  cemented  by  lime.  On  top  of  these 
were  yellowish  calcareous  marls.  We  camped  at  night  at  an  elevation 
of  6.988  feet,  in  the  midst  of  gneissic  hills,  which  become  granitoid  in 
places.  The  following  morning  we  entered  Wild  Cat  Caiion,  a  pictur- 
esque, gorge-like  valley,  the  rocks  of  which  stand  out  boldly  on  either 
side.  At  the  head  of  the  caiion  I  found  a  vein  of  coarse  granite,  con- 
taining labradorite  in  good  cleavable  masses.  In  some  of  the  specimens 
the  play  of  colors  was  particularly  fine.  There  were  also  some  good 
crystals  of  black  mica,  (biotite.)  The  surrounding  rocks  were  fine- 
grained granites  of  a  reddish  hue.      On  top  of   the   granites  were 


quartz  porpliyAes,  or  elvanite,  which  passed  into  felstone,  or  petrosilex. 
In  some  places  there  appeared  to  be  a  dike  running  through  the  granite. 
The  elvanite  I  found  of  two  varieties,  one  having  a  gray-colored  matrix 
with  feldspar  crystals  of  a  j)ink  tinge,  and  the  other  having  a  red  matrix 
with  white  crystals  disseminated  through  it.  The  petrosilex,  or  felstone, 
was  of  various  shades,  blue,  gray,  yellow,  and  red,  predominating.  The 
yellow  variety  has  a  specific  gravity  of  2.01 ;  the  blue,  2.53 ;  and  the  gray, 
2.72.  These  rocks  seem  to  pass  into  gneiss,  which  itself  at  some  distance 
becomes  granitoid,  thus  proving  them  to  be  of  the  same  composition  as 
granite,  only  in  a  roore  compact  state,  having  been  forced  through  the 
granite  and  therefore  of  later  origin. 

We  camped  in  the  evening  of  tbe  2d  of  July  on  Black-Tail  Deer  Creek. 
Leaving  here  the  following  morning,  the  first  part  of  our  course  led  us 
up  over  hills  that  were  once  the  bottom  of  some  large  lake.  Eeaching 
the  top,  a  grand  view  burst  on  our  sight.  We  stood  on  the  rim  of  a 
vast  amphitheater.  At  its  bottom,  far  beneath  us,  was  a  green  line 
marking  the  course  of  a  stream,  one  of  the  branches  of  the  Stinking 
Water  River.  The  rounded  hills  converged  toward  the  stream,  while 
here  and  there,  on  their  sides,  were  projecting  strata  of  white  Pliocene 
sandstones,  contrasting  well  with  the  grassy  slopes.  On  the  top,  even 
underneath  our  feet,  was  a  capping  of  black  basaltic  rock,  which  on  some 
sides  projected  over  the  edge.  So  regular  was  it  that  it  seemed  as 
though  it  had  been  laid  with  mathematical  accuracy.  The  background 
completing  this  picture  was  composed  of  sharp  peaks  and  hills,  with  a 
blue,  snowy  range  in  the  extreme  distance.  We  now  began  to  descend, 
proceeding  down  the  caiion,  which  is  named  the  Devil's  Pathway.  Our 
road  led  us  between  masses  of  gneissic  and  granitoid  rocks.  Here  again 
we  found  dikes  of  elvanite,  quartz-iDorphyries,  and  felstones,  some  of 
beautiful  colors,,  red,  blue,  gray,  and  violet.  I  obtained  a  strijjed  or 
slaty  porphyry,  looking  very  much  like  riband  jasper. 

Emerging  from  the  rocky  walls  we  pitched  our  tents  on  the  bank  of 
the  Passamaria,  or  Stinking  Water  Eiver.  The  next  day  we  again 
passed  over  modern  formations  in  an  old  lake  basin  until  within  some 
ten  miles  of  Virginia  City,  when  we  came  across  quartzose  rocks  mostly 
auriferous.  Here  we  found  the  first  evidences  of  mining.  JSTear  the  road 
a  man  by  name  David  Lloyd  was  industriously  washing  out  the  gravel 
from  the  side  of  a  foot-hill.  He  informed  me  that  he  was  averaging 
about  $3  per  day. 

Passing  between  quartzose  and  gneissic  hills  containing  veins  of  gar- 
netiferous  hornblende  schist  we  soon  began  to  ascend,  and  crossing  the 
hills,  passed  through  Nevada,  a, small  mining  town  below  Yirginia  City. 
All  about  us  were  the  evidences  of  mining  in  the  heaj)s  of  bare  pebbles, 
numerous  water-courses,  and  upturned  barrows.  It  being  the  anniver- 
sary of  our  national  independence,  all  were  idle  save  a  few  Chinamen. 

Virginia  City  is  situated  in  Madison  County,  in  the  southern  part  of 
Montana,  and  is  one  of  the  chief  mining  centers  of  the  Territory.  It  is 
on  Alder  Gulch,  one  of  the  tributaries  of  the  Stinking  Water,  or  Passa- 
maria River.  The  mines  about  Virginia  City  are  principally  placer-dig- 
gings. Gold  was  discovered  on  Alder  Gulch  in  1863,  being  the  second 
discovery  in  the  Territory ;  the  placer-diggings  of  Banuack  having  been 
discovered  in  1862.  Since  that  time  enormous  quantities  of  gold  have 
been  taken  out,  although  it  is  impossible  to  say  exactly  how  much,  as 
the  estimates  are  conflicting. 

Alder  Gulch  is  about  sixteen  miles  long,  and  has  a  number  of  tribu- 
taries, all  of  which  contain  gold.  Bald  Mountain  stands  at  the  head  of 
the  gulch.    IsTear  it  the  gold  is  coarse,  and  the  farther  we  go  from  it 


down  tlie  gulch  the  finer  it  becomes.  The  width  of  the  ^ilch  will  aver- 
age about  200  feet,  and  the  hills  on  either  side  are  rounded.  The  coun- 
try rock  is  gneiss,  presenting  the  same  characteristics  as  that  1  have  be- 
fore noticed,  being  in  many  places  garnetiferous.  The  gravel  is  washed 
through  a  flume  and  the  gold  caught  at  various  parts  of  its  length.  One 
of  the  greatest  wants  for  the  successful  prosecution  of  mining  here  is  a 
water-supply.  There  are  a  number  of  quartz-mines  about  Virginia 
Gity,  but  all  unite  in  saying  that  more  capital  is  needed  to  make  them 
pay  well.  I  was  shown  specimens  of  argentiferous  galena  and  of  cop- 
per ore,  which  will  no  doubt  one  day  add  much  to  the  prosperity  of 
Montana.  The  copper,  I  was  told,  was  being  mined  and  sent  to  Cali- 
fornia to  be  smelted.  In  Alder  Gulch  I  obtained  good  specimens  of 
garnets  and  precious  serpentine. 

We  left  Virginia  City  on  the  6th  of  July,  and  crossed  the  hills  to  the 
Madison  River,  traveling  in  a  northerly  direction.  We  passed  over  dark 
igneous  rocks,  which  were  in  contact  with  coarse  ferruginous  sandstones. 
We  followed  the  river  until  its  passage  through  a  narrow  canon  neces- 
sitated our  turning  from  it  and  crossing  the  mountains.  Soon  after 
leaving  the  river  we  crossed  Meadow  Creek,  which  flows  through  an  ex- 
ceedingly beautiful  and  fertile  valley.  We  now  began  to  ascend  rapidly, 
and  passed  by  three  deserted  shafts  sunk  in  the  granite  beds.  Besides 
granites  there  are  here  quartzites  and  gneiss.  Soon  after  crossing  the 
summit,  we  encamped  in  the  Hot  Spring  district.  Near  our  camp  were 
some  hot  springs,  which,  however,  presented  but  little  of  interest.  The 
highest  temperature  was  76°  F.,  and  the  lowest  G4P  F. ;  the  temperature 
of  the  air  being  48°  F.  The  largest  spring  was  only  about  a  foot  and  a 
half  in  diameter,  and  four  inches  in  depth.  The  rock  at  whose  base 
they  have  their  origin  is  a  reddish  syenite.  A  few  miles  farther  on 
we  passed  some  larger  springs,  situated  close  to  the  road.  Their  size 
was  about  4  feet  by  10  feet.  The  highest  temperature  here  was  124°  F., 
and  the  lowest  110°  F. :  the  atmosphere  at  the  time  of  observation  being 
50°  F.  They  were  filled  with  Confervoidea.  We  passed  by  a  number  of 
mills  all  working,  being  supplied  with  the  gold  ore  from  quartz-mines 
in  the  neighborhood.  One  of  these  mines,  the  Eed  Bluft'  lode,  I  visited. 
The  lode,  which  is.  owned  by  J.  J.  Lown,  dips  to  the  north,  the  strike 
being  east  and  west.  Its  width  varies  from  2  feet  to  7  feet.  The  coun- 
try rock  is  mainly  gneiss.  The  hanging  wall  is  a  gray  granite,  and 
its  foot-wall  gneiss.  There  are  two  shafts  100  feet  apart,  the  first  one 
reaching  the  depth  of  105  feet,  and  the  second  110  feet.  They  are  con- 
nected by  a  passage,  which  extends  45  feet  beyond  the  second  shaft,  get- 
ting below  the  water-level.  The  ore  is  principally  a  red  jasper,  with 
the  particles  of  metallic  gold  disseminated  through  it  and  plainly  visi- 
ble. Below  this  jaspery  ore  there  are  galena  and  i^yrites.  I  also  ob- 
tained some  beautiful  pieces  of  blue  chalcedony  and  some  semiopal,  the 
latter  being  almost  all  dendritic.  Approaching  the  hanging  wall  the 
ore  passed  into  a  porphyritic  rock,  with  large  masses  of  bright-red  jas- 
per. The  mine  had  been  worked  for  six  months,  and  in  that  time  had 
averaged  $60  to  the  ton.  There  were  about  eight  men  employed,  at  the 
rate  of  $3  each  per  day.  Leaving  here,  a  ride  of  a  few  miles  brought 
us,  a  second  time,  to  the  Madison  River,  which  having  cut  its  way 
through  the  mountains,  here  spreads  out  and  flows  smoothly  between 
low  rounded  hills,  from  whose  grassy  slopes  ridges  of  gneiss  and  horn- 
blende schist  project.  On  examination  these  latter  proved  to  be  gar- 
netiferous. Following  the  Madison  but  a  short  distance,  we  turned  to 
the  right  and  crossed  the  hills  to  the  valley  of  the  Gallatin  River.  This 
is  the  garden  valley  of  Montana.    It  will  average  fifteen  miles  in  width, 


and  is  about  sixty  miles  long.  It  is  well  watered  by  tbe  brancbes  of 
tbe  Gallatin  Eiver,  wbicb  are  extensively  used  in  irrigation.  Tbe  bills 
are  covered  witb  excellent  grass,  and  form  one  of  tbe  best  grazing 
grounds  in  tbe  world.  Quite  a  considerable  part  of  tbe  valley  is  already 
under  cultivation.  Crossing  tbe  Gallatin,  we  soon  arrived  at  Bozeman 
City,  a  flourisbing  town,  destined  to  be  of  considerable  importance 
sbould  tbe  Nortbern  Pacific  Eailroad  run  tbrougb  it.  Tbree  miles  be- 
yond tbe  town  we  pitcbed  our  tents  at  Fort  Ellis.  Fort  Ellis  is  situated 
on  tbe  eastern  side  of  tbe  Gallatin  Valley,  on  tbe  east  brancb  of  tbe  Gal- 
latin Eiver,  and  bas  a  force  of  four  companies  of  cavalry  and  one  com- 
pany of  infantry,  under  tbe  command  of  Major  E.  M.  Baker.  On  tbe 
lltb  of  July  we  visited  a  small  lake  twelve  miles  soutbeast  of  tbe  fort. 
After  a  ride  over  a  trail  wbicb  led  tbrougb  dense  timber,  making  our 
progress  difficult,  we  reacbed  tbe  lake,  a  beautiful  sbeet  of  water  en- 
sconsed  in  tbe  midst  of  bills  wbicb  rise  to  a  considerable  beigbt  around 
it.  It  is  about  balf  a  mile  in  widtb,  and  tbe  stream  flowing  from  it 
forces  its  way  in  a  deep  gully  tbrougb  quartzites.  It  falls  about  500 
feet  in  a  quarter  of  a  mile.  It  rusbes  along  witb  furious  rapidity,  leav- 
ing bigb  projections  of  rock  on  eitber  side.  Tbe  lake  sbore  is  bordered 
witb  limestones,  wbicb  rest  on  tbe  quartzites.  Having  refitted  and  ob- 
tained an  escort,  we  left  Fort  Ellis  on  tbe  15tb,  and,  after  a  ride  of  but 
nine  miles  over  a  very  rougb  road,  went  into  camj).  During  tbe  day 
we  passed  over  fossiliferous  sandstones  of  Tertiary  origin.  At  tbe  bead 
of  Spring  Caiion,  tbrougb  wbicb  a  small  stream  flows  to  join  tbe  Galla- 
tin, we  passed  an  old  coal-mine.  ■  It  is  abandoned,  and  being  full  of 
water  prevented  our  entrance.  Tbe  sbaft,  bowever,  does  not  penetrate 
very  far.  Tbe  coal  is  lignite,  similar  to  tbat  found  along  tbe  Union 
Pacific  Eailroad.  On  top  of  tbe  sandstones  we  again  bad  igneous  rocks, 
(dark  basalts.)  For  tbe  two  following  days  we  were  obliged  to  travel 
very  slowly,  baving  to  build  our  road  in  many  places.  Tbe  sandstones 
and  basalts  continued  until  we  reacbed  tbe  valley  of  tbe  Yellowstone 
Eiver,  wbicb  we  entered  on  tbe  morning  of  tbe  17tb.  Tbe  flow  of  tbe 
lava  bas  sjjread  out  over  tbe  valley,  forming  a  floor,  over  wbicb  our  road 
led.  I  obtained  on  our  way  cbips  of  cbalcedony  and  obsidian,  wbicb 
were  abundantly  scattered  over  tbe  valley. 

Tbe  valley  of  tbe  Yellowstone,  at  tbe  point  we  entered  it,  is  about 
four  miles  wide,  and  bas  on  its  eastern  margin  a  grand  mountain  range, 
wbose  sbarp  peaks  proclaim  its  volcanic  origin.  Tbe  river  is  easily 
traced  by  tbe  line  of  timber  on  its  banks.  At  Botteler's  Eancb  we 
formed  our  permanent  camj),  being  unable  to  take  our  wagons  fartber, 
and  made  preparations  to  pursue  our  way  witb  pack-mules.  On  tbe 
20tb  of  July  we  left  Botteler's,  stringing  out  in  single  file,  witb  our 
pack-train  along  tbe  trail  up  tbe  Yellowstone  Eiver.  Tbe  trail  led  us 
along  tbe  left  bank  of  tbe  river  over  igneous  rock,  tbe  most  conspicuous 
of  wbicb  was  a  breccia  composed  of  large  masses  of  black  material 
imbedded  in  a  red  matrix.  After  a  ride  of  about  fifteen  miles  we  reacbed 
tbe  lower  caiion.  Here  tbe  river  breaks  tbrougb  masses  of  gneissic 
rock,  wbicb  rise  abruptly  from  tbe  water's  edge,  and  over  wbicb  our  trail 
was  very  steep  and  rocky.  Tbe  caiion  is  about  tbree- quarters  of  a  mile 
in  lengtb  and  about  280  feet  wide.  At  tbe  bottom  of  tbis  ravine  tbe 
river j  of  an  emerald  tint,  rusbes  over  tbe  rocks,  wbose  resistance  causes 
it  to  be  tbrown  into  numerous  foam-capped  ripples.  Tbe  gneissic  rocks 
are  for  tbe  most  part  garnetiferous,  tbougb  somewbat  indistinctly  so. 
Tbey  pass  in  many  places  into  bornbleude  scbists,  and  in  otbers  become 
granitoid.  Emerging  from  tbe  canon,  our  way  led  us  alternately  over 
low  bills  of  igneous  origin  and  expanded  valleys.    Tbe  soil  seems  to  be 


made  of  the  finely  pulverized  dust  of  volcanic  rock,  and  is  covered  with 
a  sparse  growth  of  sage-brush.  The  river  is  bordered  with  a  growth  of 
thinly  scattered  pines  and  quaking-asps.  In  the  mountains,  on  either 
side,  are  stratified  limestones,  which  rest  on  the  gneissoid  rocks  we 
observed  in  the  canon.  Scattered  over  the  hills  and  through  the  valleys 
I  found  many  beautiful  specimens  of  chalcedony  and  chips  of  obsidian. 
Many  of  the  chalcedonies  were  geodes,  in  which  were  crystals  of  quartz ; 
others  contain  opal  in  the  center  and  agate  on  the  exterior ;  and  still 
others  have  on  the  outside  attached  crystals  of  calcite.  A  short  dis- 
tance above  the  caiaon  we  came  to  Cinnabar  Mountain,  so  named  from 
the  color  of  some  of  its  rocks,  which  have  been  mistaken  for  cinnabar, 
although  the  red  color  is  due  to  iron.  Here  we  encountered  what  is  called 
the  Devil's  Slide.  It  consists  of  two  masses  of  rock  in  almost  vertical 
position,  perfectly  defined  as  two  walls.  They  are  about  50  feet  in 
width  each,  and  300  feet  high,  reaching  from  the  top  of  the  mountain  to 
its  base.  They  are  separated  from  each  other  about  150  feet,  the  inter- 
vening softer  material  having  in  the  lapse  of  time  been  washed  away. 
The  right-hand  mass  is  a  whitish  quartzite,  while  the  left-hand 
one  is  a  dike  of  greenish  i^orphyritic  trachyte  in  which  the  crystals 
of  feldspar  are  thickly  disseminated.  Parallel  with  these  two  principal 
walls  are  many  more  ridges  of  quartzitic  and  slaty  nature,  none  of  which 
equal  them  in  magnitude.  They  are  all  nearly  at  right  angles  to  the 
strata  of  limestone,  which  lie  on  either  side.  In  a  space  to  the  right, 
of  the  main  ridge  there  is  a  broad  red  band  reaching  from  the  top  to 
the  bottom  of  the  mountain.  It  is  caused  by  the  sliding  of  ferruginous 
limestone  and  clay.  It  is  about  20  feeb  wide  and  distinctly  outlined. 
These  ridges  must  have  been  forced  into  their  present  position  when  the 
strata  above  were  horizontal.  That  there  has  been  a  terrible 
convulsion  here  in  the  past  is  i^roved  a  few  miles  farther  on,  where  the 
strata  of  limestone  are  so  contorted  that,  within  the  space  of  200  feet, 
they  dip  in  three  different  directions.  In  the  limestone  there  was  an 
abundance  of  crystals  of  calcite.  Some  eight  or  ten  miles  farther  on 
we  reached  Gardiner's  River,  a  stream  emptying  into  the  Yellowstone 
just  as  the  latter  emerges  from  a  caSon.  Here  we  left  the  Yellowstone 
to  visit  some  hot  springs  about  four  miles  above  the  junction  of  the 
two  streams.  We  soon  came  to  the  evidences  of  hot  springs  in  the 
calcareous  deposit,  beneath  which  the  warm  water  escaped  into  the 
river.  Passing  a  number  of  hot  springs,  we  began  the  ascent  of  a  steep 
hill,  passing  over  the  deposit,  which  gave  forth  a  hollow  sound  beneath 
our  horses'  feet.  Suddenly  we  came  in  full  sight  of  the  springs.  We 
were  totally  unprepared  to  find  them  so  beautiful  and  extensive.  Be- 
fore us  lay  a  high  white  hill,  composed  of  calcareous  sediment  deposited 
from  numerous  hot  springs.  The  whole  mass  looked  like  some  grand 
cascade  that,  had  been  suddenly  arrested  in  its  descent,  and  frozen.  On 
exauiiuatiou  we  found  that  the  deposit  extended  for  some  two  miles 
farther  up  the  gorge,  and  below  reached  to  the  edge  of  the  river,  occu- 
pying altogether  about  three  square  miles,  although  the  greater  part 
of  it  is  now  in  ruins  and  overgrown  with  innes.  Still  the  outlines  can 
be  very  distinctly  traced.  The  principal  mass  is  arranged  in  a  series 
of  terraces,  one  above  the  other,  each  being  composed  of  beautiful 
basins^  semicircular  in  shape,  and  having  regular  edges,  with  exquisitely 
scalloped  margins.  Their  size  varies,  but  will  average  5  by  8  feet. 
They  are  filled  with  water  of  different  temperatures,  from  cold  to  tbe 
boiling-point.  The  color  of  the  sedimefit  is  for  the  most  part  white,  al- 
though here  and  there  are  tinges  of  yellow  where  sulphur  predominates, 
and  red  and  pink  where  there  is  iron.    The  weathering  of  those  parts 


in  which  the  springs  are  long  extinct  has  caused  it  to  assume  a  grayish 
appearance.  The  main  springs  are  situated  on  a  terrace  about  "half 
way  up  the  mountain,  and  cover  an  almost  circular  space  of  about  two 
hundred  yards  in  diameter.  The  color  of  the  water  here  is  almost  in- 
describable, being  the  purest  azure.  From  these  springs  clouds  of 
steam  are  always  rising,  and  the  water  is  always  bubbling  and  seething 
in  its  vast  caldron-like  basin.  The  water  flowing  thence  proceeds 
downward  from  terrace  to  terrace,  until  it  reaches  the  lowest,  consider- 
bly  cooled.  The  springs  in  the  center  of  the  main  basin  are  probably 
all  at  the  boiling-point,  although  we  were  unable  to  determine  their 
temperatures  as  they  were  beyond  our  reach.  The  temperature  of  the 
hottest  we  were  able  to  determine  was  162°  F.  The  terrace  imme- 
diately above  the  main  basin  is  bordered  by  a  long  rounded  ridge, 
with  a  fissure  extending  its  whole  length.  From  this  fissure  nothing 
but  hot  vapors  and  steam  escape.  Its  interior  is  lined  with  beautiful 
crystals  of  pure  sulphur.  The  bubbling  and  gurgling  of  the  water  far 
beneath  could  be  distinctly  heard;  Back  of  this  ridge  were  two  small 
geyser-like  jets  of  water,  which  rose  to  the  height  of  3  feet  intermit- 
tently. Farther  up  the  gorge,  about  1,000  feet  above  the  level  of  tho 
river,  we  discovered  two  mound-like  formations,  the  largest  of  which 
was  about  20  feet  in  height  and  50  feet  long  by  30  feet  wide.  The  other 
was  only  about  5  feet  high.  From  the  top  of  these  the  water  spouted 
to  the  height  of  4  or  5  feet,  each  geyser-spout  proceeding  from  a  small 
conical  mound  about  a  foot  in  height  and  eight  inches  in  diameter  at 
its  base.  Breaking  one  of  these  cones,  the  tube  through  which  the 
water  came  was  found  to  be  verj'  small,  only  about  a  quarter  of  an  inch 
in  diameter,  while  the  remainder  of  the  cone  was  composed  of  layer 
upon  layer  of  sediment  deposited  by  the  overflowing  water.  ISTear  these  ' 
mounds  there  is  a  sulphur-spring  emitting  a  considerable  quantity  of 
sulphureted  hydrogen.  On  the  lower  terrace  the  water  has  spread  out 
more  and  formed  shallower  basins.  Here  there  are  also  some  remark- 
able formations,  high,  chimney-like  masses  of  the  sediment,  composed 
of  layer  upon  layer,  which,  in  the  lapse  of  time,  has  become  very  hard. 
One  of  the  most  curious  of  these,  the  Liberty  Cap,  named  from  its 
shape,  is  about  45  feet  high  and  15  feet  thick,  "it  is  altogether  likely 
that  these  have  once  been  veritable  spouting  geysers,  for  they  are  anal- 
ogous in  structure  to  the  smaller  active  ones  found  higher  up  the  val- 
ley. They  became  so  high,  however,  that  the  pressure  of  the  column 
of  water  was  too  great  for  the  boiling-point  to  be  attained  in  the  depths 
below.  Then  the  eruptions  ceased,  and  the  spring  gradually  became 
extinct,  leaving  these  masses  stand  as  monuments  of  their  former 

The  temperature  of  the  water  near  the  river  is  120°  F.j  in  some 
springs  a  little  higher  up,  130°  F.;  and  on  the  lower  terrace,  155°  F. 
Still  a  little  higher  there  is  a  boiling  spring,  162°  F.  On  the  second 
terrace  the  temperature  varies  from  142°  F.  to  162°  F.  On  the  third  or 
maui  terrace  it  is  Irom  155°  F.  to  102°  F.,  and  on  the  next,  where  the 
small  geysers  are,  it  is  from  156°  F.  to  162°  F.  At  the  two  mounds  high 
up  tbe  valley  it  is  from  142°  F.  to  143°  F.,  while  in  the  sulphur  spring 
near  them  it  is  only  112°  F.  The  average  temperature  of  the  atmos- 
phere was  63°  F.  The  majority  of  the  springs  give  off  sulphureted 
hydrogen  gas,  some  being  more  strongly  impregnated  than  others.  The 
water  contains  sulphureted  hydrogen,  sulphate  of  magnesia,  and  car- 
bonates of  lime,  soda,  and  potassa.  Whence  do  these  springs  obtain 
the  lime  which  is  so  abundant  in  their  composition'?  I  thinlc  from  the 
passage  of  the  water  through  the  strata  of  limestone.    Even  the  igneous 


rocks,  wliicli  are  mostly  porphyritic  trachytes  of  a  liglit-gray  color, 
contain  a  considerable  percentage  of  lime,  and  some  of  the  pieces  I 
obtained  were  coated  with  crystals  of  calcite.  To  the  west  of  the  hills 
there  are  high  volcanic  peaks  on  the  summits  of  the  hills,  whose  eleva- 
tion is  considerable.  To  the  east,  bordering  Gardiner's  River,  there  is 
a  remarkable  wall,  composed  of  limestones  and  sandstones,  capped  with 
a  layer  of  basalt.  Indeed,  the  whole  valley  is  shut  in  by  high  hills.  In 
New  Zealand  there  is  a  hot-spring  formation  which  resembles  this  very 
much  in  appearance,  although  the  constitution  of  the  sediment  is  differ- 
ent. In  New  Zealand  silica  predominates;  here  carbonate  of  lime 
appears  in  the  greatest  quantity.    The  white  deposit  contains — 

Carbonate  of  lime, 
Chloride  of  calcium, 
Carbonate  of  magnesia, 
Carbonate  of  strontia, 
Carbonate  of  soda, 
Carbonate  of  potassa, 
Sulphate  of  magnesia, 

I  insert  Hochstetter's  description  of  the  New  Zealand  formation,  to 
show  how  similar  it  is  in  appearance  : 

"  First  of  all  is  Te  Tarata  (signifying  tatooed  rock)  at  the  northeast 
end  of  the  lake,  (Rotomahana,)  with  its  terraced  marble  steps  projecting 
into  the  lake,  the  most  marvelous  of  the  Eotomahana  marvels.  About 
80  feet  above  the  lake,  on  the  fern-clad  slope  of  a  hill,  from  which  in 
various  places  hot  vapors  are  escaping,  there  lies  the  immense  boiling 
caldron  in  a  crater-like  excavation  with  steep,  reddish  sides  30  to  40 
feet  high,  and  open  only  on  the  lake  side  toward  the  west.  The  basin  of 
the  spring  is  about  80  feet  long  and  60  wide,  and  filled  to  the  brim  with 
perfectly  clear,  transparent  water,  which  in  the  snow-white  incrusted 
basin  appears  of  a  beautiful  color  like  the  blue  turquois.  M  the  margin 
of  the  basin  I  found  a  temperature  of  183°  F.,  but  in  the  middle,  where 
the  water  is  in  a  constant  state  of  ebullition  to  the  height  of  several 
feet,  it  probably  reaches  the  boiling-point.  Immense  clouds  of  steam, 
reflecting  the  beautiful  blue  of  the  basin,  curl  up,  generally  obstructing 
the  view  of  the  whole  surface  of  water;  but  the  noise  of  boiling  and 
seething  is  always  distinctly  audible.  The  reaction  of  the  water  is  neu- 
tral ;  ithas  a  slight  salty,  but  by  no  means  unpleasant  taste,  and  pos- 
sesses in  a  high  degree  petrifyiug,  or  rather  incrusting  qualities.  The 
deposit  of  the  water  is  like  that  of  the  Iceland  springs,  siliceous,  not 
calcareous,  and  the  siliceous  deposits  and  incrustations  of  the  constantly 
overflowing  water  have  formed  on  the  slope  of  the  hill  a  system  of 
terraces,  which,  as  white  as  if  cut  from  marble,  present  an  aspect  which 
no  description  or  illustration  is  able  to  represent.  It  has  the  appear- 
ance of  a  cataract  plunging  over  natural  shelves,  which,  as  it  falls,  is  sud- 
denly turned  into  stone. 

"  The  siliceous  deposits  cover  an  area  of  about  three  acres  of  land.  For 
the  formation  of  those  terraces,  such  as  we  see  them  to-day,  doubtless 
thousands  of  years  were  required.  Forbes,  judging  by  the  thickness 
of  the  siliceous  deposits  on  the  great  geyser  of  Iceland,  which  he  esti- 
mates at  7G2  inches,  and  by  the  observation  that  an  object  exposed  to 
the  discharge  of  the  geyser- water  for  the  space  of  twenty-four  hours 
is  covered  with  a  sheet  of  paper  thickness,  has  calculated  the  approxi- 


mate  age  of  the  great  geyser  at  one  thousand  and  tliirty-six  years.  Sim- 
ilar calculations  might  be  made  also  with  regard  to  the  Tetarata  fountaiu 
by  examining  the  thickness  of  the  siliceous  incrustations. 

"The  flat,  spreading  foot  of  theterracesextendsfarintothelake.  There 
the  terraces  commence  with  low  shelves  containing  shallow  water-basins. 
The  farther  up,  the  higher  grow  the  terraces ;  two,  three,  also  some  four 
and  six  feet  high.  They  are  formed  by  a  number  of  semicircular  stages, 
of  which,  however,  not  two  are  of  the  same  height.  Each  of  these 
stages  has  a  small  raised  margin,  from  which  slender  stalactites  are 
hanging  down  upon  the  lower  stage ;  and  encircles  on  its  platform  one 
or  more  basins  resplendent  with  the  most  beautiful  blue  water.  These 
small  water-basins  represent  as  many  natural  bathiug-basins,  which  the 
most  retined  luxury  could  not  have  prepared  in  a  more  splendid  and 
commodious  style.  The  basins  can  be  chosen  shallow  or  deep,  large 
or  small,  and  of  every  variety  of  temperature,  as  the  basins  upon  the 
higher  stages,  nearer  to  the  main  basin,  contain  warmer  water  than 
those  upon  the  lower  ones.  Some  of  the  basins  are  so  large  and  so 
deep  that  one  can  easily  sv/im  about  in  them.  In  ascending  the  steps, 
it  is,  of  course,  necessary  to  wade  in  the  tepid  water,  which  spreads  be- 
side the  lower  basins  upon  the  jjlatform  of  the  stages,  but  rarely  reach- 
ing above'  the  ankle.  During  violent  water-eruptions  from  the  main 
basin,  steaming  cascades  may  occur ;  at  ordinary  times  but  very  little 
water  ripples  over  the  terraces  5  and  only  the  principal  discharge  on  the 
south  side  forms  a  hot,  steaming  fail.  After  reaching  the  highest  ter- 
race there  is  an  extensive  platform,  with  a  number  of  basins,  5  to  6  feet 
deep,  their  water  showing  a  temperature  of  90°  F.  to  110°  F.  In  the  mid- 
dle of  this  platform,  there  arises,  close  to  the  brink  of  the  main  basin, 
a  kind  of  rock  island,  about  twelve  feet  high,  decked  with,  manuka, . 
mosses,  lycopodium,  and  fern.  It  may  be  visited  without  danger,  and 
from  it  the  curious  traveler  has  a  fair  and  full  view  into  the  blue,  boil- 
ing, and  steaming  caldron.     Such  is  the  famous  Tetarata." 

The  above  is  an  almost  perfect  description  of  the  springs  at  Gardiner^s. 
Eiver.  We  have  the  same  beautifully  clear  blue  water ;  the  terraces 
and  basins  even  to  the  stalactitic  processes  hanging  from  the  latter. 
We  have  also  an  u^jper  platform  or  basin  with  the  main  springs,  from 
which  continual  clouds  of  steam  are  rising.  The.  lower  terraces  are  also 
shallower  and  their  basins  filled  with  cooler  w^ater.  We  have  the  same 
form  of  natural  bathing-basins  of  a  x>ure  white  color.  To  these  latter 
some  of  our  party  gave  the  names  of  Jupiter's  baths  and  Diana's  pools. 
The  differences  are  these :  in  Jll^ew  Zealand  the  deposit;  is  mainly  siliceims, , 
here  it  is  calcareous  5  in  'New  Zealand  the  water  is  neutral,  here  it  is 
alkaline ;  in  New  Zealand  the  main  spring  is  probably  a  vast  geyser. 
At  Gardiner's  River  it  is  not  likely,  at  the  present  time  at  least,  that  it 
is  a  geyser,  for  the  main  springs  are  so  large  that  even  if  there  is  a  tube 
at  the  base  supplying  one  of  the  conditions  for  a  geyser  the  pressure  of 
the  water  would  prevent  any  eruption  unless  it  should  take  place  at  ex- 
tremely long  intervals.  If  so,  the  display  would  be  grand  beyond  all 
precedent.  It  is  likely,  however,  that  some  time  in  the  past  it  has  ful- 
filled all  the  conditions  of  a  geyser.  The  deposit  at  Gardiner's  Eiver  is 
much  more  extensive  than  that  of  the  Tetarata. 

We  left  the  hot  springs  on  the  24th  of  July.  Proceeding  down  the 
hill  we  crossed  the  two  branches  of  Gardiner's  Eiver  and  wound  our 
way  up  the  right  bank  of  the  east  fork  of  the  river.  Our  course  was 
along  the  steep  side  of  the  mountain,  over  sandstones,  which  were  capped 
with  a  broad  plateau  of  basalt,  fragments  of  which  were  strewn  along 
our  trail.  After  about  four  miles  of  steady  climbing  we  reached  the  top 
12  a  s 


of  the  valley.  Here  the  basaltic  layer  extends  across  the  gorge,  forming 
an  abrupt  perpendicular  wall,  broken  only  on  the  side  opposite  that  on 
which  we  were.  Here  the  water  rushes  down  in  a  beautiful  fall,  its 
beauty  half-hidden  by  the  dense  foliage  of  the  pines  which  surround  it. 
Ascending  upon  the  basaltic  platform,  and  looking  back,  the  scene  was 
grand.  High  mountains  in  all  directions,  their  rounded  forms  relieved 
by  numerous  sharp  peaks,  formed  the  background,  while  in  the  fore- 
ground beneath  us  lay  the  valley  through  which'  we  had  come.  The 
central  feature  of  the  whole  scene  was  the  hot-spring  formation,  its  pure 
white  color  contrasting  strongly  with  the  green  of  the  surrounding 
vegetation.  Turning  again,  the  scene  in  front  was  different.  Although 
there  was  less  of  grandeur  there  was  more  of  beauty.  Before  us  lay  low, 
rolling  hills  clad  in  bright  verdure  and  dotted  with  scattered  groups  of 
pines.  About  a  mile  farther  on  wejDassed  a  second  cascade.  The  water 
flows  down  a  bed  of  basalt,  which  is  inclined  at  an  angle  of  about  45°, 
arranged  in  a  series  of  ledges  reaching  from  the  top  to  the  bottom,  a 
distance  of  about  200  feet.  These  ledges  cause  the  water  to  be  broken 
into  foam,  giving  it  at  a  distance,  the  appearance  of  a  mass  of  snow. 
Bordering  the  cascade  are  chimney-like  masses  of  red  igneous  rock. 
The  horizontal  and  vertical  fissures  in  it  make  the  resemblaiice  to  ma- 
sonry very  striking,  l^ear  here  we  obtained  some  good  specimens  of 
silicified  wood. 

The  following  day  we  reached  the  Yellowstone  Eiver  at  the  junction 
of  its  two  forks.  Here  we  encountered  gneissic  rocks,  and  scattered 
over  the  valley  wei"e  numerous  granitic  bowlders,  their  rounded  form 
plainly  indicating  that  they  must  have  been  carried  some  distance  be- 
fore being  deposited  in  their  present  position.  Above  the  junction  of 
;the  two  forks  the  main  branch  of  the  river  emerges  from  a  caiion,  which 
is  over  500  feet  in  depth,  its  walls  being  almost  perpendicular.  The 
walls  have  a  capping  of  basalt,  the  columnar  form  of  which  is  very  dis- 
tinct, especially  at  Column  Rock,  near  the  mouth  of  Tower  Creek. 
Tower  Creek  is  a  swift  mountain  torrent,  which,  after  rushing  through 
a  narrow  gorge,  with  steep  and  often  precipitous  sides,  suddenly  dashes 
over  a  ledge  of  rock,  and  falls  perpendicularly  a  distance  of  156  feet 
into  a  rounded  basin  which  the  water  has  cut  out  of  the  solid  limestone. 
The  width  of  the  fall  is  about  20  feet.  Eeaching  the  bottom  the  water 
ihurries  on  through  a  short  cai5on  to  the  Yellowstone  Eiver.  Upon  the 
limestones  rest  volcanic  rocks,  trachytic  in  nature.  These  have  been 
so  eroded  by  the  action  of  the  torrent  as  to  leave  tower-like  masses  100 
feet  in  height,  standing  isolated  on  the  edge  of  the  creek.  Two  of  these 
-columns  stand,  one  on  either  side  of  the  fall,  at  its  edge.  They  are  yel- 
lowish in  color  from  the  presence  of  sulphur,  and  the  exposure  to  the 
weather  has  rendered  them  A^ery  friable.  The  bank  of  the  Yellowstone, 
immediately  opposite  the  mouth  of  Tower  Creek,  is  about  600  feet  high 
and  has  two  rows  of  basaltic  columns,  each  one  of  which  is  about  25  feet 
in  height  and  5  feet  in  diameter.  Between  these  two  layers,  which  are 
200  feet  apart,  are  beds  which  seem  to  have  a  large  amount  of  sulphur 
in  their  composition  from  their  bright-yellow  color.  We  were  not  able, 
however,  to  cross  the  river  to  determine  it.  There  are  also,  doubtless, 
numbers  of  hot  springs  scattered  along  the  edge  of  the  river  on  that 
side.  A  few  yards  above  the  mouth  of  Tower  Creek,  on  a  small  stream 
emptying  into  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  there  was  a  hot  spring  and  a 
number  of  vent-holes  giving  off  sulphureted  and  carbureted  hydrogen. 
The  main  spring  is  only  2  feet  in  diameter  and  about  18  inches  deep. 
It  is  close  to  the  edge  of  the  creek  and  gives  oft'  sulphureted  and  carbu- 
reted hydrogen.    The  basin  of  the  spring  is  a  black,  clayey  material. 


Its  temperature  was  IST*^'  F.    The  water  was  acid  in  reaction^  and  con- 

SulpTijate  of  iron  and  alumina,  (abundant,) 
Sulphate  of  magnesia, 
Sulphate  of  lime, 
Chloride  of  calcium, 
Oxide  of  iron, 
Free  sulphtir, 
■  Soda  gjid  potassa,  (trace.) 
There  is  in  the  ravine  in  which  the  creek  is  situated  a  deposit  of  sul- 
phur, and  also  near  the  spring  a  deposit,  white  in  color,  containing — 

In  the  bed  of  the  stream  there  is  an  abundant  deposit  of  sulphur 
and  also  a  black  carbonaceous  material.    The  sulphurous  odors  ema- 
nating from  the  ravine  are  so  strong  as  to  be  recognized  at  a  consid- 
erable distance  from   it.     A  short  distance  above  Tower  Creek  we 
ascended  a  peak  called  Mount  Washburne,  whose  summit  is  composed 
of  a  light-gray  trachytic  rock  containing  acicular  crystals  of  hornblende. 
On  the  sides  of  the  mountain  we  found  large  pieces  of  chalcedony  and 
agate.    Near  the  base  of  the  mountain  there  are  situated  quite  a  num- 
ber of  sulphur  and  mud  springs.     A  specimen  from  one  of  the  latter 
was  of  an  almost  black  color,  and  when  dry  was  covered  with  a  white 
efflorescence.    It  contained — 

Sulphate  of  alumina  and  iron, 
Sulphate  of  magnesia, 
Sulphide  of  calcium. 

Our  next  camp  was  near  the  Great  Fall  of  the  Yellowstone.  It  is  at 
the  head  of  the  Grand  Canon,  a  gorge  averaging  about  a  thousand  feet 
in  depth,  which  the  water  has  cut  through  the  volcanic  rocks.  These 
rocks  are  mostly  trachytes  of  a  white  or  gray  color,  on  top  of  which 
there  is  a  layer  that  is  basaltic  in  its  character.  In  many  i3laces  they 
become  rhyolitic,  and  contain  crystals  of  sanidine,  very  abundantly  dis- 
tributed through  them.  In  one  place  I  found  a  perlite-like  trachyte 
porphyry,  containing  small  feldspathic  balls  (spherulites)  with  a  radi- 
ated fibrous  structure,  mixed  with  small  pieces  of  obsidian.  Some  of 
the  rocks  are  colored  by  iron,  which  has  been  deposited  from  hot  springs. 
In  other  places  there  is  an  infiltration  of  sulphur,  which  gives  them  a 
bright-yellow  color.  There  are  still  some  warm  springs  on  the  edge  of 
the  river,  and,  at  the  only  place  we  were  able,  to  get  to  it,  there  were 
three  or  four  small  si)rings  giving  off  carbonic  acid  gas,  which  has 
caused  an  abundant  deposit  of  sesquioxide  of  iron  about  them.  Having 
no  thermometer  with  us,  we  were  unable  to  determine  the  temperature 
of  the  water;  but  it  could  not  have  been  much  over  90°.  It  contained 
a  white  organic  material.  Passing  the  upper  fall,  after  a  ride  of  about 
eighteen  miles,  we  reached  Crater  Hills.  These  consist  principally  of 
two  conical  hills  about  150  feet  in  height.  There  are  several  other  hills 
which  are  smaller.  They  are  all  made  up  in  part  of  hot-spring  deposit 
and  a  white  trachytic  tufa.  All  about  the  hills  there  is  an  extensive 
deposit,  mostly  siliceous,  forming  a  crust  which  often  breaks  through 
while  walking  over  it.    It  is  lined  with  beautiful  crystals  of  sulphur. 


At  the  base  of  the  hills  there  is  a  large  boiling  sulphur-spring,  in  which 
the  water  is  constantly  agitated,  rising  to  the  height  of  3  and  4  feet. 
It  is  about  12  feet  in  diameter  and  encircled  by  a  collar-like  rim,  which 
is  beautifully  incrusted.  It  consists  principally  of  silica  and  sulphur. 
In  the  stream  proceeding  from  the  spring  there  is  quite  a  deposit  of 
sulphur.     The  water  contains — 

Sulphur,  (very  abundant,) 

Lime,  (trace,)  "* 

Iron,  (trace,) 
Sulphuric  acid. 
Its  temperature  is  183|o  F.    About  300  feet  west  of  this  spring  there 
is  a  steam-jet,  which  was  named  the  Locomotive  Jet  from  the  noise 
made  by  the  steam  in  escaping.    The  temperature  there  was  191°  F. 
On  the  sides  of  the  hills  there  were  many  more  steam-jets,  in  which  the 
highest  temperature  attained  was  197 Jo  F.    To  the  southeast  of  the 
boiling  sulphur-spring  is  a  large  turbid  spring  about  35  feet  in  diameter. 
Its  contents  consisted  of  a  very  thin  bluish  mud  containing — 
Sulphate  of  alumina  of  iron, 
Chloride  of  magnesium, 
Sulphate  of  alumina, 
Free  sulphur, 
"  Silica, 
and  having  a  temperature  of  163°  F.    It  was  acid  in  reaction  and  tasted 
strongly  of  alum.    About  three  hundred  yards  south  from  the  main 
spring  there  is  a  collection  of  mud  and  sulphur  springs.    The  principal 
mud-spring  in  this  group  contains  a  thick,  blue  mud.    It  has  the  con- 
sistency of  paint,  and  the  steam,  in  escaping  from  it,  does  so  with  a 
thud-liire  noise,  and  at  times  projects  the  mud  to  a  considerable  height. 
Its  temperature  is  188|o  F.    The  mud  has  a  strong  alum  taste,  is  acid 
in  reaction,  and  contains — 

Sulphate  of  iron  and  alumina, 
Sulphate  of  magnesia, 
Chloride  of  magnesium, 
Kear  this  latter  spring  there  is  another,  which  was  named  the  Foam 
Spring.    The  water  is  very  turbid  and,  floating  on  its  surface,  there  is 
a  greenish,  sandy,  foam-like  material  consisting  of — 
Sulphur,  (very  abundant,) 

Oxide  of  calcium. 
Sulphate  of  alumina. 
It  is  in  a  constant  state  of  agitation.  There  are  many  other  sulphur 
and  mud-springs  here,  which  resemble  one  another  closely.  All  the  mud- 
springs  are  impregnated  with  alum,  and  the  stream  flowing  away  from 
the  hills  is  called  Alum  Creek,  the  water  of  which  is  strongly  astringent. 
The  alum  is  an  iron  alum.  Leaving  the  hills  we  found  camp,  situated 
on  the  bank  of  the  Yellowstone  Eiver,  at  a  place  called  Mud  Volcanoes. 
Here  again  was  a  large  collection  of  mud  and  sulphur  springs.  Imme- 
diately back  of  camp  were  two  crater-like  mud-springs  or  volcanoes 
about  10  feet  in  depth,  at  the  bottom  of  which  the  escaping  steam  kept 


the  thick,  blue  mud  in  a  state  of  violent  agitation,  sometimes  throwing 
it  to  the  height  of  15  or  20  feet.    This  mud  contained — 

Sulphate  of  iron  and  alumina, 

Sulphate  of  magnesia, 

Chloride  of  magnesium, 



Near  these  mud-craters  there  were  also  some  alum-pools  containing 
alum  and  sulphur.  On  the  edges  of  these  pools  there  were  a  number 
of  holes,  from  which  there  was  a  bubbling  of  water  that  flowed  into  the 
springs.  Upon  ascending  the  hill,  at  whose  base  these  springs  were 
situated,  we  could  see  immense  volumes  of  steam  rising  toward  the 
southeast.  Proceeding  in  that  direction  about  400  yards  we  came  to  a 
sort  of  a  cave  in  a  sandstone  rock.  The  entrance  is  about  15  feet  high, 
and  it  gradually  slopes  inward  for  about  20  feet.  At  this  point,  at  regu- 
lar intervals  of  a  few  seconds,  there  bursts  forth  a  mass  of  steam,  with  a 
pulsation  which  shakes  the  ground,  while  a  stream  of  clear  water  flows 
from  the  mouth  of  the  cavern.  Its  temperature  was  184°  F.  The 
water  had  a  very  faint  alum  taste,  and  gave  off  a  slight  odor  of  sul- 
phureted  hydrogen.  This  S])riug  we  named  the  Grotto.  A  little  far- 
ther on,  after  passing  a  large  muddy  sulphur  pool  of  about  20  feet  in 
diameter,  we  found  on  the  side  of  the  hill  a  huge  mud-crater.  Its  orifice 
is  circular  and  from  it  there  escapes  a  dense  volume  of  steam,  obscuring 
for  the  greater  part  of  the  time  the  view  of  the  boiling  mass  of  mud,  which 
is  20  feet  below  the  surface.  It  was  too  deep  for  us  to  determine  its  tem- 
perature. The  mud  seems  to  be  very  thin  and  of  a  blackish  color.  Some 
of  the  mud  from  the  rim  of  the  crater  contains  alumina  and  silica,  with  a 
;  little  iron,  lime,  soda,  and  potassa.  It  is  jjiobably  a  true  mud-geyser,  for 
the  appearance  of  the  crater  and  the  trees  around  it  would  indicate  that 
at  times  it  ejects  its  contents  to  a  considerable  height.  The  trees  within 
200  feet  of  it  are  coated  with  dri.ed  mud  even  to  their  topmost  branches. 
During  our  stay,  however,  it  had  no  eruption.  About  three  hundred 
yards  southeast  of  this  crater  we  discovered  another  muddy  geyser. 
The  basin  of  this  geyser  was  about  50  feet  in  diameter,  and  situated  in 
a  basin  circular  in  shape,  containing  two  other  springs.  Its  tempera- 
ture was  191°  F.  The  trapper  who  was  with  us,  and  who  had  visited 
the  place  before,  assured  us  that  about  6  o'clock  p.  m.  it  would  com- 
mence spouting.  ^We  waited  somewhat  incredulously,  for  the  spring 
was  quite  placid.  Soon,  however,  there  began  a  slight  bubbling  in  the 
center,  and  the  water  began  to  rise  gradually  in  the  basin  until  sud- 
denly it  was  thrown  into  violent  agitation,  the  contents  becoming  very 
muddy.  Immense  volumes  of  steam  escaped,  throwing  the  water  to 
the  height  of  20  feet.  The  eruption  lasted  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour, 
when  it  ceased  as  suddenly  as  it  began,  and  the  surface  of  the  water 
was  more  placid  than  before.  This  eruption  took  place  eight  times  in 
twenty- six  hours.  These  salses,  or  mud -volcanoes,  are  known  to  all  vol- 
canic regions.  They  are  found  in  South  America,  in  Italy,  in  Java,  in 
New  Zealand,  and  in  Iceland.  We  found  them  always  where  the  water 
w^as  obliged  to  pass  through  a  bed  of  clay.  In  the  last  group  I  have  de- 
scribed, in  one  case,  that  of  the  "  Grotto,"  the  water  came  through  sand- 
stone and  was  ijerfectly  transparent  and  clear.  Had  it  been  situated  in  a 
bed  of  clay  it  would  probably  have  been  a  mud-spring.  In  all  of  these 
we  found  sulphureted  hydrogen  gas  to  a  greater  or  less  degree,  and 
they  were  all  impregnated  with  alum.  The  sulphureted  hydrogen  is 
probably  decomposed,  losing  its  hydrogen.    The  sulphur,  becoming 


oxidized,  unites  witli  the  iron  and  alumina  found  in  the  clay  and  forms 
the  sulphate  of  alumina  and  iron.  There  were,  also,  in  this  group  a 
number  of  springs  that  were  extinct.  Between  the  active  springs,  in 
which  the  mud  was  very  thin,  and  those  which  were  extinct,  nothing 
remaining  save  the  hardened  clay,  there  were  springs  of  every  grade  as 
considered  in  reference  to  the  consistency  of  their  contents.  The  water^ 
in  the  lapse  of  time,  becomes  less  and  less,  either  by  finding  new  chan- 
nels, or  more  likely  by  evaporation ;  the  mud  becomes  thicker  and  thicker 
until  finally  all  the  water  disapi)ears,  leaving  merely  vents  through  which 
steam  escapes;  and  after  a  while  even  these  become  extinct,  and  the 
orifices  become  clogged  up  with  detritus.  All  hot  springs  and  salses  are 
the  evidence  of  languishing  volcanic  action. 

We  reached  Yellowstone  Lake  on  the  28th  of  July,  and  on  the  31st  a 
small  party  of  us  left  the  lake  to  visit  the  geyser  region  of  the  Fire- Hole 
Eiver,  the  head-water  of  the  Madison.  The  remainder  of  the  party 
were  to  move  camp  some  twenty-eight  miles  farther  to  the  south,  where 
we  would  join  them  in  about  a  week.  After  a  hard  day's  travel  of 
thirty-one  miles  through  heavy  timber  we  reached  the  head- waters  of 
the  east  fork  of  the  Madison,  or  Fire-Hole  Eiver.  The  mountain  range 
over  which  we  passed  was  igneous,  and  in  many  places  masses  of  pure 
obsidian  were  observed.  We  passed  by  a  number  of  fumeroles,  from 
which  steam  and  gas  were  escaping,  Avhile  all  about  them  was  the 
white  siliceous  deposit,  mingled  with  sulphur  and  iron,  indicating  the 
past  existence  of  hot  springs.  The  water  in  the  stream  on  whose  bank 
we  were  encamped  was  quite  warm,  although,  in  the  morning  the  mer- 
cury in  the  open  air  was  down  almost  to  the  freezing-j)oint.  About  a 
mile  and  a  half  from  our  camp  were  some  hot  springs,  covering  an  area 
of  about  200  square  yards.  Their  temperature  varied  from  128°  F.  to 
199°  F.    The  deposit  of  some  of  the  springs  was  calcareous. 

Leaving  here  we  proceeded  down  stream,  passing  a  number  of  hot 
springs,  some  of  which  were  noticeable  from  the  iron  deposited  in  their 
basins.  Their  temperatures  were  from  142°  F.  to  192°  F.  The  iron 
postied  on  an  organic  material,  which-was  abundant  in  springs  of  low 
temperature.  Just  before  going  into  camp  we  i^assed  four  hot  springs 
of  considerable  size.  They  were  each  situated  in  the  center  of  a  slightly 
elevated  mound,  which  sloped  gradually  from  the  edge  of  the  spring 
until  lost  in  the  general  level.  The  first  was  4  feet  in  diameter,  having 
a  temjierature  of  162°  F.  The  second  was  2  feet  in  diameter,  its  tem- 
perature being  170°  F.  The  third  was  only  about  a  foot  in  width  and 
reached  174°  F.  The  fourth  and  largest  was  somewhat  irregular  in 
shape,  being  about  15  feet  in  length  and  5  feet  in  width,  the  thermom- 
eter here  recording  156°  F.  A  short  distance  from  these  springs  was 
a  small  mud-spring  about  a  foot  in  diameter.  At  the  bottom  of  it,  about 
a  foot  from  the  surface,  was  an  agitated  mass  of  thick,  bluish  mud,  hav- 
ing a  temx)erature  of  190°  F. 

Our  camp,  on  the  evening  of  August  1,  was  on  the  right  bank  of  the 
east  fork  of  the  Madison  or  Fire-Hole  Eiver,  in  the  lower  geyser  basin 
of  the  Fire-Hole.  We  divide  the  springs  and  geysers  of  this  basin  into 
seven  principal  groups  for  the  purx)ose  of  description.  Immediately 
opposite  our  camp  dlong  the  river,  occuj)ying  a  space  albout  a  quarter 
of  a  mile  wide  and  nearly  two  miles  long,  was  the  first  groui3.  Here 
we  recorded  the  temperatures  of  sixty-seven  springs.  The  lowest  was 
106°  F.,  the  highest  198°  F.,  and  the  average  159°  F.,  more  than  one- 
half  being  above  160°  F.  The  temperature  of  the  air  was  about  50°  F. 
Some  of  these  were  geysers,  with  small  tubular  orifices,  projecting  the 
water  from  2  to  5  feet.    There  were  also  some  large  tranquil  spring^  or 


cisterns,  witli  beantiftilly  iiicriisted  siliceous  basius,  containing  water 
wliose  tint  was  an  exquisite  blue.    One  of  these,  whose  basin  was 
incrusted  with  successive  ridges,  along  each  of  which  there  was  a  line 
of  the  colors  of  the  spectrum,  we  called  the  Prismatic  Spring.    The 
majority  of  them  were  simi^ly  siliceous  springs.     A  few,  however,  were 
chalybeate.    The  siliceous  sinter,  (geyserite,)  which  was  very  abundant, 
contained  a  trace  of  lime,  iron,  and  magnesia.    In  some  of  the  springs 
of  low  temperature  .there  was  a  leathery -like  organic  material  of  a  red 
color.    The  following  day  we  moved  our  camp  nearer  the  center  of  the 
basin,  about  two  and  a  half  miles  ftirther  south.    On  our  way  we  passed 
between  two  conical,  isolated,  trachytic  hills.    The  space  between  our 
two  camps  is  filled  for  the  most  part  by  the  siuter,  and  where  there  is 
none  the  ground  is  marshy.    A  small  stream  flowed  past  our  camp  con- 
veying the  water  from  the  springs  to  the  river.    Immediately  in  front 
of  our  camp,  about  eight  hundred  yards  distant,  was  the  second  group, 
composed  x)riucipally  of  geysers.    They  occupied  an  area  of  about  three- 
quarters  of  a  mile.   We  recorded  here  the  tern peratures  of  sixteen  springs, 
one-half  of  which  were  over  190°  F.     The  lowest  was  140°  F.,  and  the 
highest  196°  F.,  the  average  being  183°  F.     The  temperature  of  the  air 
was  about  55°  F.  to  60°  F.    One  of  the  geysers,  from  the  peculiar  noise  it 
made,  was  called  the  Thud  Geyser.    There  were  many  of  them  that 
threw  the  water  from  5  to  10  feet  high.     In  the  cool,  frosty,  morn- 
ing the  basin  resembled  some  manufacturing  center,  as  clouds  of  steam 
could  be  seen  in  all  directions.    The  principal  geyser  of  this  group 
was  situated  on  the  slope  of  a  small  hill,  and  was  about  20  feet  in  diam- 
eter.   The  rim  is  about  5  feet  wide  and  5  feet  high.    It  is  composed  of 
geyserite  of  a  grayish  color,  and  is  full  of  deep  pockets,  which  contain 
balls  of  geyserite  about  the  size  of  walnuts,  each  one  being  covered  with 
little  rosette-like  formations.     The  column  of  water  thrown  out  hy  this 
geyser  during  its  eruptions  is  very  wide,  and  reaches  the  height  of  50 
feet.    Near  it  we  obtained  some  pieces  of  wood,  which  were  coated  with 
geyserite  of  a  delicate  pink  tinge.    The  silica  had  thoroughly  pene- 
trated the  woody  fiber.    We  found,  also,  some  pine-cones,  coated  in  the 
same  manner,  forming  beautiful  specimens.    A  few  yards  back  of  the 
geyser  were  three  large  mud-springs,  in  one  of  which  the  mud  was  red, 
in  another  white,  and  in  the  third  i)ink.    They  were  all  in  agitation, 
and  the  jets  of  steam  escaping  caused  the  mud  to  assume  the  form  of 
small  conical  points  throughout  the  basins.    They  were  situated  in  a  bed 
of  clay,  the  red  color  being  due  to  iron.    Below  these  latter  there  were 
some  chalybeate  springs,  the  bright- red  iron  deposit  of  which  had  spread 
over  a  considerable  area  and  formed  a  glaring  contrast  with  the  white 
color  of  the  siliceous  material.    About  three-quarters  of  a  mile  to  the 
southeast  of  this  group  is  the  third  group,  situated  at  the  northwestern 
base  of  a  spur  of  the  mountains,  and  extending  uj)  a  ravine  a  distance  of 
one  thousand  yards.    They  occupied  a  space  of  about  five  hundred  yards 
in  width.    One  of  the  springs  from  its  shape  we  named  the  Fissure  Sprin  g. 
We  found  here  three  sulphur  springs,  the  only  ones  in  the  region.     The 
amount  of  suljihur  present,  however,  was  not  very  great ;  their  tempera- 
tures were  respectively  138°  F.,  154°  F.,  and  196°  F.     In  this  5a vine  we 
tookthetemperaturesof  twenty  springs,  averaging  158°  F. ;  thelowest  was 
130°  F.,  and  the  highest  196°  F.     About  the  center  of  the  group  was  a 
small  lake  600  feet  long  and  150  feet  wide,  near  the  eastern  shore  of  which 
there  was  a  geyser,  which  spouted  very  regularly  to  the  height  of  15  or 
20  feet.     A  short  distance  southeast  of  the  lake  we  found  an  iron-spring, 
which  was  surrounded  by  an  abundant  deposit  5  its  temperature  was  160° 
F.  -  AVest  of  the  lake  were  two  geyser-cones,  about  18  inches  high  and 


12  inches  across  at  their  bases.  Erom  the  top  of  these  the  water  emerged. 
They  were  incrusted  with  a  cauliflower-like  foimatioD,  and  near  them 
in  a  fissure  we  obtained  balls  of  geyserite  coated  in  the  same  manner. 
The  stream  flowing  from  the  lake  is  well  filled  with  a  luxuriant  growth 
of  Confervoidea. 

About  a  thousand  yards  farther  south  is  the  fourth  group.  The 
ravine  in  which  they  are  situated  is  about  a  mile  and  a  half  long  and 
thyee  hundred  yards  wide.  Of  the  many  springs  and  geysers  which  it 
contains,  we  took  the  temperature  of  forty-two,  varying  from  112°  F.  to 
198°  F.  The  average  temperature  was  179°  F.,  the  temperature  of  the 
air  being  about  60°  F.  Just  before  entering  the  ravine  we  passed  by  a 
large  cone  about  25  feet  in  height,  from  the  top  of  which  steam  was 
escaping.  It  is  probably  a  geyser,  although  during  our  stay  it  did  not 
have  an  eruption.  At  the  mouth  of  the  ravine  we  found  the  principal 
geyser  of  the  group.  Its  basin  was  circular  and  about  GO  feet  in  diame- 
ter, although  the  spring  itself,  which  is  in  the  center,  is  only  about  15 
or  20  feet  in  diameter.  The  incrusted  margin  is  full  of  sinuses,  filled 
with  hot  water,  which  falls  into  them  whenever  the  geyser  is  in  opera- 
tion. These  pockets  contain,  also,  smooth,  rounded  pebbles  of  geyserite, 
varying  in  size  from  that  of  a  pea  to  a  large-sized  walnut.  They  have 
been  rounded  by  the  action  of  the  water.  The  water  in  the  spring  of 
the  geyser  was  of  a  blue  color  and  constantly  in  agitation,  though 
more  violently  so  just  before  spouting.  The  column  of  water  projected 
reaches  the  height  of  100  feet,  and  is  accompanied  by  immense  clouds 
of  steam.  Near  the  upper  end  of  the  ravine  was  a  spring,  about  which 
the  deposit,  instead  of  being  white,  was  black.  In  some  of  the  springs 
we  found  butterflies  which  had  fallen  in  and  been  scalded  to  death,  and 
on  taking  them  out  we  found  them  coated  with  silica,  thus  commencing 
to  undergo  petrifaction. 

About  a  thousand  yards  west  of  our  camp,  on  the  banks  of  the  Fire- 
Hole  Eiver,  was  the  fifth  group,  the  largest  of  all,  covering  a  space  of 
nearly  a  square  mile,  and  comprising  a  large  number  of  springs  and 
geysers.  We  recorded  the  temperature  of  ninety-five,  more  than  one- 
half  of  which  were  over  180°  F.  They  varied  from  112°  F.  to  196°  F., 
the  average  being  172°  F. ;  the  air  at  the  time  of  observation  was  70° 
F.  One  of  the  springs,  from  its  resemblance  to  a  shell,  we  named  the 
Gonch  Spring.  One  geyser  resembled  a  fortress  with  numerous  port- 
holes, looking  toward  the  river.  Its  temperature  was  190°  F.  In  the 
river  were  several  small  islands  containing  geysers.  Opposite  one  of 
them,  on  the  edge  of  the  river,  was  a  horn-like  geyser-cone,  which  we 
named  the  Horn  Greyser.  Another  we  called  the  Cavern.  There  are 
also  a  number  of  fumaroles,  or  vent-holes,  from  which  steam  constantly 
escapes.  I^ear  the  northern  end  of  the  group  the  river  flows  close  to 
the  base  of  a  small  wooded  hill,  along  the  edge  of  which  were  some 
mud-springs  and  mud-geysers,  the  mud  varying  in  color,  being  white 
in  some  and  blue  in  others.  In  some  it  was  very  thick,  and  in  others 
almost  as  thin  as  water.  On  ascending  the  hill  after  passing  through 
the  woods,  we  came  to  a  dozen  or  more  interesting  mud-springs.  They 
were  alnjost  all  situated  at  the  bottom  of  large  funnel-shaped  craters, 
of  about  20  feet  diameter  at  their  mouths.  '  Tlie  mud  in  most  of  them 
was  very  thick  and  of  a  white  or  grayish  color,  and  the  steam  in  escap- 
ing did  so  with  a  dull,  thud-like  noise,  throwing  back  the  mud  in  forms 
resembling  the  leaves  of  a  lily.  Near  these  there  were  some  small  mud- 
cones,  from  the  top  of  which  there  was  steam  escaping.  Breaking 
them  open,  they  were  found  to  have  veins  of  sulphur  and  iron  running 
through  them.    About  two  miles  southwest  of  the  last-mentioned  group 


is  the  sixtli  group,  situated  on  a  small  stream  flowing  into  the  Fire- 
Hole.  They  are  in  a  large,  open,  prairie-like  valley,  which  is  for  the 
most  part  marshy.  At  the  head  of  the  valley  there  is  a  beautiful  cascade. 
We  took  the  temperatures  of  thirty-four  springs,  varying  from  106°  F. 
to  198°  F.,  the  average  being  184°  F.  One  of  the  springs  was  strongly 
chalybeate.  The  seventh  group  is  on  the  Fire- Hole  Eiver,  about  two 
and  a  half  miles  south  from  our  camp.  Here  we  met  with  the  largest 
spriug  we  had  yet  encountered.  It  was  over  400  feet  in  diameter,  and 
the  sinter  extended  in  overlapping  layers  for  a  considerable  distance 
around  it.  Below  this,  about  600  feet  from  the  river,  was  a  second 
huge  spring,  which  we  named  the  Caldron.  The  level  of  the  water  in 
it  was  20  feet  below  us,  and  tbe  view  of  it  obscured  by  the  dense  clouds 
of  steam  rising  from  it.  The  glimpses  we  got  revealed  that  it  was  of  a 
beautiful  blue  color.  One  side  of  the  wall  was  broken  down,  and 
thence  the  water  flowed  into  the  river  through  a  number  of  streams, 
forming  a  cascade,  whose  beds  were  lined  with  the  sesquioxide  of  iron. 
We  took  the  temperatures  of  twenty  of  the  springs,  and  found  the 
average  to  be  184°  F.  The  lowest  temperature  was  132°  F.,  and  there 
were  butf  two  other  springs  below  173°  F.  One-half  of  the  springs 
were  above  190°  F,,  the  highest  being  196°  F.  Xhe  air  was  about  70° 
F.  to  76°  F.  The  lower  geyser-basin  comprises  an  area  of  about  thirty 
square  miles,  and  the  springs  whose  temperatures  we  took  are  but  a 
small  part  of  the  whole  number.  They  are  divisible,  like  those  of 
Iceland,  into  three  classes:  1.  Those  which  are  constantly  agitated  or 
boiling.  2,  Those  which  are  agitated  only  at  particular  periods.  3. 
Those  which  are  always  tranquil.  In  the  geysers  the  water  is  usually 
placid  tintil  within  a  short  time  of  the  eruption,  when  it  begins  to 
bubble  and  there  is  an  escape  of  steam,  the  water  rising  gradually  in 
the  basin  until  suddenly  it  is  i)rojected  into  the  air. 

We  left  our  camp  in  the  lower  basin  about  noon  of  the  4th  of  August, 
proceeding  up  the  Fire-Hole  Eiver,  and  in  the  evening  pitched  our  tents 
in  the  upper  basin.  This  basin  is  not  so  large,  occupying  a  space  of 
only  about  three  square  miles,  and  containing  a  less  number  of  springs. 
They  are,  however,  much  more  active,  and  their  craters  are  more  beauti- 
ful, interesting,  and  larger.  The  majority  of  the  springs  and  geysers 
are  near  the  river,  extending  along  it  on  both  sides  for  about  three  miles. 
Many  of  them  were  named  by  the  party  under  Langford  and  Doane, 
who  visited  them  in  1870.  Soon  after  getting  into  camp  we  were  treated 
to  an  exhibition  that  was  truly  wonderful.  Immediately  opposite  us, 
at  the  base  of  a  small  hill,  a  geyser  threw  a  column  of  water  to 
the  height  of  over  200  feet  from  the  earth,  which  shook  as  the  water 
fell  back  into  its  basin.  It  was  accompanied  with  a  vast  quantity  of 
steam.  We  gave  it  the  name  of  the  Grand  Geyser.  It  had  but  one 
more  eruption  during  our  stay,  and  that  during  the  next  night,  after  an 
interval  of  thirty-one  hours.  The  deposit  throughout  the  valley  is 
siliceous,  as  in  the  lower  basin.  We  recorded  the  temperatures  of  one 
hundred  and  four  springs  and  geysers,  and  these  were  but  a  few  of  the 
whole  number.  Many  of  those  not  taken  were  too  violently  agitated 
for  us  to  approach  them  with  safety.  Others  were  so  large  as  to  be 
beyond  the  reach  of  the'  thermometer.  Two-thirds  of  the  temx^era- 
tures  taken  were  over  170°  F.,  tbe  lowest  being  113°  F.,  and  the  high- 
est 196°  F.  The  temperature  of  the  air  was  67°  F.  The  principal 
geysers  were  named  as  follows:  The  Soda  Geyser,  the  Fan  Geyser, 
the  'Eiverside,  the  Grotto,  the  Pyramid,  the  Giant,  the  Punch  Bowl, 
the  Grand  Geyser,  the  Saw  Mill,  the  Castle,  the  Giantess,  the  Bee 
HivCj  and  Old  Faithful.    The  Soda  Geyser  was '  two  miles  below  our 


camp,  on  the  left  bank  of  the  river,  and  spouted  with  great  regularity 
every  ten  minutes,  throwing  the  water  up  10  feet,  resembling  very  much 
a  soda-fountain,  whence  its  name.  The  Grotto  Geyser  was  situated 
about  500  yards  northwest  from  our  camp.  It  consists  of  a  mass  of 
sinter  12  feet  in  diameter  and  5  feet  high,  full  of  large  sinuous  orifices, 
from  which  the  water  is  projected  during  an  eruption.  Four  hundred 
feet  southeas-t  of  the  Grotto  is  the  Giant.  The  crater  of  this  geyser  is 
very  rough  and  rises  about  10  feet  above  the  surrounding  level.  It  is  8 
feet  in  diameter  at  its  base  and  5  or  6  at  the  top.  One  side  is  somewhat 
broken  down,  allowing  one  to  see  the  boiling  water  in  it.  It  projects  a 
column  of  water  of  about  5  feet  in  diameter  to  the  height  of  125  feet, 
the  eruptions  each  lasting  about  two  hours,  ^eai-  the  Grand  Geyser, 
which  was  immediately  opposite  our  camp,  there  was  a  small  one,  which 
we  named  the  Saw  Mill  Geyser.  It  threw  a  small  stream  to  the  height 
of  10  or  15  feet  almost  uninterruptedly.  Still  farther  up  the  river,  and 
on  the  opposite  side,  is  the  Castle,  the  most  beautiful  of  them  all.  It  is 
situated  in  the  center  of  a  large,  gently  sloping  mound  of  sinter,  above 
which  its  crater  rises  about  20  feet.  It  is  about  50  feet  in  length,  and 
beautifully  incrusted  with  bead-like  formations.  The  whole  mass 
resembles  some  old  castle  that  has  been  subjected  to  a  bombardment. 
It  has  an  eruption  every  few  hours.  Between  the  Castle  and  thfe  river 
is  one  of  the  large  springs  or  cisterns  so  numerous  throughout  the 
region.  It  corresponds  to  the  Langs  of  Iceland,  which  some  time  in  the 
past  have  been  geysers.  This  one  is  about  20  feet  in  diameter,  and  is 
funnel-shaped.  The  edge  is  lined  with  a  series  of  beautifully  regular 
scallops.  The  water  in  this  white  siliceous  basin  is  an  exquisite  tint, 
resembling  the  turquois  blue.  This  intense  blue,  however,  is  not  peculiar 
to  this  region.  It  is  noticed  as  well  in  New  Zealand  and  in  Iceland. 
The  temperature  of  the  water  was  172°  F.  At  the  head  of  the  valley 
stands  Old  Faithful,  so  named  for  the  regularity  of  its  spouting,  w^hich 
takes  place  every  fifty  minutes,  lasting  about  ten  minutes,  the  water 
reaching  the  height  of  125  to  150  feet.  Its  crater  is  conical,  and  6  feet 
high.  iTear  it  there  are  four  geyser-cones,  which  are  now  extinct 
geysers.  On  the  opposite  side  of  the  river  from  Old  Faithful  are  the 
Giantess  and  Bee  Hive,  neither  of  which  were  seen  in  operation  by  us. 

Bunsen's  theory  of  the  geyser  is  the  simplest  antl  probably  the  most 
correct.  It  can  be  verified  by  experiment,  and  the  facts  observed  by  us 
sustain  it.  Briefly  stated,  it  is  this  :  The  water  deposits  nothing  except 
by  evaporation,  which  takes  place  rapidly  at  the  edges  5  here,  then,  the 
silica  which  is  held  in  solution  is  deposited  and  builds  up  the  beautiful 
tube  and  basin  of  the  geyser.  Bunsen  succeeded  in  determining  the  tem- 
13erature  of  the  geyser-tube,  from  top  to  bottom,  a  few  moments  before 
eruption,  and  found  that  at  no  part  of  the  tube  was  it  at  the  boiling-point. 
How,  then,  does  the  eruption  take  place "?  It  is  always  noticed  that  before 
an  eruption  the  water  rises  in  the  tube.  The  higher  we  go  in  the  tube 
the  lower  is  the  point  at  which  the  water  boils.  Suppose  the  column 
of  water  is  elevated  by  the  ehtrance  of  steam  through  ducts  at  the  bot- 
tom of  the  tube.  The  water,  which  at  a  certain  point  was  near  tlie 
boiling-point,  is  elevated  to  a  part  of  the  tube  where  the  boiling-point 
is  lower  than  the  temperature  it  has ;  there  is  therefore  an  excess  of 
heat.  This  excess  of  heat  is  used  in  generating  steam ;  the  water  is 
elevated  higher,  more  steam  is  formed,  and  suddenly  the  water  above 
is  thrown  into  the  air,  mingled  with  clouds  of  steam,  and  we  have  the 
geyser  in  action.  The  water  has  to  be  very  near  the  boiling-point  before 
an  eruption  can  take  place. 

In  the  Fire-Hole  geysers  we  noticed  that  just  before  an  eruption  the 


Tv^ater  rose  gradually  in  the  basin,  and  that  there  were  occasional  at- 
tempts at  eruptions,  which  failed,  preceding  the  actual  eruption.  A 
specimen  of  the  water  brought  back  was  as  clear  as  when  bottled  at  the 
eeysers,  showing  no  deposit  whatever.  There  was  not  sufficient  for  a 
quantitative  analysis.  It  contained  835f|  milligrams  of  solid  matter  to 
the  liter,  consisting  in  the  main  of  silica.  Chloride  of  lime  and  sulphate 
of  magnesia  were  present  in  small  quantity,  and  there  was  also  a  trace 
of  iron  present.  The  glaring  white  deposit,  which  extends  over  both  the 
upper  and  lower  basins,  is  principally  geyserite,  a  variety  of  opal.  The 
forms  it  assumes  here  are  similar  to  those  found  in  Iceland.  The  speci- 
mens vary  in  color,  form,  and  texture.  The  majority  are  of  an  opaque 
white,  or  grayish  color.  In  the  lower  basin  some  pink  specimens  were 
obtained  which  are  translucent ;  other  specimens  are  of  a  greenish  gray. 
Some  of  the  white  pieces  were  subtranslucent ;  others  were  pearly  and 
enamel-like.  Specimens  from  the  geyser-cones  have  generally  a  cauli- 
flower-like form,  and  break  very  easily ;  others  are  beaded,  and  still 
others  covered  with  small  stalagmitic  processes.  The  texture  varies 
from  porous  to  compact,  and  some  pieces  are  very  easily  reduced  to 
powder.  The  majority  of  the  deposit  which  extends  through  the  basins 
is  porous,  and  arranged  in  layers.  The  geyser-cones  are  generally  very 
compact,  and  very  often  have  an  enamel-like  coating.  From  some  of 
the  springs  masses  were  obtained  that  are  filamentous  and  stalactitic. 
Some  pieces  seem  as  though  the  surface  had  been  enameled  and  then 
suddenly  allowed  to  contract,  leaving  small,  irregularly  shaped  plates 
of  enamel  attached  to  the  main  mass  by  pedicles.  In  the  lower  basin 
we  found  smooth  balls,  which,  on  being  broken,  were  found  to  be  com- 
posed of  concentric  layers  of  geyserite  of  a  homogeneous  structure. 
Others,  which  were  beaded  or  otherwise  fantastically  fashioned  on  the 
outside,  were  found  to  be  very  irregular  in  their  structure.  The  latter 
were  generally  of  a  pink  color.  A  specimen  of  white  geyserite,  of 
cauliflower-like  form,  hardness  of  5,  and  specific  gravity  1.866,  contains — 

Silica 83.  83' 

Water 11.  02 

Chloride  of  magnesium 4. 00 

98.  85 
Analyses  of  geyserite  from  other  parts  of  the  world  are  as  follows : 

White  geyserite  from  Iceland,  f  analysis  hy  Damour.J 

Silica - 91.  23 

Water 8.  97 

100. 20 

Geyserite  from  Iceland,  f  analysis  hy  Forcliliammer.J 

Silica 84.  43 

Water : 7.  88 

Alumina 3.  07 

Iron « .  =  1.  91 

Lime 0.  70 

Soda  and  Potassa 0,  92 

Magnesia - J .". .  1. 06 

99.  97 


Geyserite  from  New  Zeland,  f analysis  hy  Fattison.J 

fPliil.  Mag.,  m,  xsv,  495.]    Specific  gravity,  1.968. 

Silica 77. 35 

Alumina 9,  70 

Sesquioxide  of  iron 3.  72 

Lime 1.54 

Water 7.  66 


Geyserite  from  New  Zeland,  (analysis  hy  Mallet.  J 

[PMl.  Mag.,  rV,  V.  285.]    Speciiic  gravity,  2.031. 

Silica 94. 20 

Alumina - 1.  58 

Sesquioxide  of  iron 0. 17 

Lime - Indication. 

Chloride  of  sodium ^ 0.  85 

Water .' 3.  06 


On  the  6th  of  August  we  bade  farewell  to  the  Geyser  Basin  and. 
started  on  our  way  toward  the  Yellowstone  Lake  to  rejoin  the  main 
party.  Our  way  led  upward  through  dense  timber,  and  after  traveling 
eight  miles  we  reached  the  summit  of  the  first  ridge  of  mountains  sepa- 
rating us  from  the  lake.  The  rock  at  the  summit  was  a  porphyritic 
obsidian,  containing  large  crystals  of  feldspar  thickly  disseminated 
through  it.  We  now  began  to  descend,  and  at  the  foot  of  the  mountain 
passed  by  Madison  Lake,  which  is  about  five  miles  in  diameter.  It  is 
heart-shaped.  The  sand  on  its  shore  is  composed  of  fiuely-broken-up 
obsidian,  intermixed  with  chips  of  chalcedony  and  red  jasper.  We  were 
obliged  to  go  into  camp  at  night  without  having  reached  the  lake,  whose 
shore,  however,  we  reached  the  following  morning,  to  find  ourselves 
about  three  miles  below  camp.  Our  camp  was  situated  near  a  large 
collection  of  hot  springs  and  mud-geysers.  The  former  varied  in  tem- 
perature from  1150  ¥.  to  191°  F.,  averaging  166  Jo  F. ;  the  latter  ranged 
from  132°  F.  to  190°  F.,  the  average  being  155^°  F.  The  temperature 
of  the  air  during  observation  was  about  65°  F.  The  water  of  the  springs 
contained — 






•Sulphuric  acid. 
Its  reaction  was  neutral.  In  some  of  the  springs  of  low  temperature  there 
was  a  red  gelatinous  organic  growth.  One  of  the  most  curious  of  the 
springs  was  situated  in  the  midst  of  the  lake,  close  to  the  shore.  Its  basin 
was  about  3  feet  above  the  surface  of  the  lake,  and  was  composed  of  a 
white  deposit  containing  a  large  percentage  of  silica,  it  being  of  the  same 
character  as  the  deposit  about  the  springs  on  the  shore.  The  water  in 
this  basin,  which  had  the  shape  of  a  truncated  cone,  had  a  tempera- 
ture of  IGOo  F.    The  mud  springs  or  geysers,  for  they  threw  the  mud 


out,  to  the  height  of  3  and  4  feet,  were  situated  in  a  bed  of  clay. 
Their  contents  consisted  of  a  rather  thick  mud  of  an  extreme  degree  of 
fineness  and  of  a  beautiful  pink  color.    It  contained — 

Iron,  (abundant,) 
Alumina,  (abundant,) 

Our  party  again  divided,  one  portion  returning  to  the  permanent 
camp  to  bring  up  further  supplies,  another  to  make  the  survey  of  the 
lake  in  the  boat,  while  the  remainder  of  us  started  on  the  9th  of  August, 
on  our  way  around  the  lake  by  land.  In  the  evening,  after  a  ride 
through  low,  marshy  ground,  we  camped  at  the  head  of  one  of  its  south- 
ern arms,  at  the  base  of  a  large  reddish-colored  mountain,  which  forms 
one  of  the  prominent  landmarks,  being  visible  from  all  parts  of  the 
lake.  The  nest  day  we  crossed  the  mountain  and  pitched  our  tents  on 
one  of  the  small  streams  that  contributes  to  form  the  Snake  River.  The 
following  evening  we  reached  Bridge  Creek,  or  the  Upper  Yellowstone 
Eiver,  at  the  head  of  the  southeast  arm  of  Yellowstone  Lake.  Leaving 
here  we  proceeded  down  the  eastern  shore  of  the  lake,  which  we  found 
to  be  not  so  thickly  covered  with  timber  as  the  western  side,  nor  so  marshy 
as  the  southern  shores.  After  leaving  the  head  of  the  lake,  we  made 
three  camps  before  leaving  it  altogether.  Back  of  our  first  camp,  which 
was  on  a  rocky  bluff,  there  was  a  high  ridge  of  igneous  origin,  com- 
posed mainly  of  volcanic  breccia,  in  which  I  obtained  good  specimens  of 
wood-opal.  Some  of  the  pieces  were  inclosed  in  the  center  of  a  mass  of 
the  breccia,  which  seemed  to  have  flown  over  it  in  a  melted  condition. 
Some  of  the  sx)ecimens  obtained  were  evidently  the  heart  of  the  wood, 
the  center  of  which  contained  chalcedony  and  crystals  of  quartz  in  fis- 
sures caused  originally  by  the  splitting  of  the  wood.  Our  second  camp 
was  in  one  of  the  small  prairies  so  numerous  on  this  side  of  the  lake. 
Here  we  were  joined  by  the  supply-train,  and  by  the  party  in  the  boat. 
In  the  lake  opposite  to  us  was  Promontory  Point,  a  point  of  land  run- 
ning out  into  the  water  between  the  southeast  arm  and  one  of  the  south- 
ern arms  of  the  lake.  A  piece  of  rock  brought  from  it  contained  rhomb- 
spar  and  crystals  of  calcite,  the  matrix  being  red  from  the  presence  of 
iron,  j^ear  camp  were  two  high  volcanic  peaks.  Mounts  Stevenson  and 
Doane.  The  summit  of  the  former  is  composed  of  a  light-gray  trachyte, 
containing  acicular  crystals  of  hornblende.  The  rock  is  identical  with 
that  on  Mount  Washburne.  Between  our  two  camps  was  the  site  of  an 
old  hot-spring  basin,  now  extinct,  to  which  was  given  the  name  of  Brim- 
stone Basin,  from  the  sulphur  which  exists  in  it.  The  deposit,  which  is 
mostly  of  a  white  color,  fills  a  valley  that  is  about  a  mile  in  length,  and 
a  quarter  of  a  mile  in  width.  It  extends  up  the  side  of  the  mountain  in 
deep  ravines,  in  some  of  which  there  is  a  strong  sulphurous  odor,  al- 
though the  hot  springs  are  all  extinct.  The  water  flowing  from  these 
beds  is  cold  and  impregnated  with  alum,  which  probably  results  from 
the  water  passing  through  the  sulphur  and  clay  beds.  It  is  acid  in  its 

On  the  19th  of  August  we  moved  our  camp  farther  down  the  lake  to 
Steamy  Point.  Just  before  reaching  it  we  passed  a  small  group  of  hot 
springs  and  steam-jets,  which  were  a  few  yards  from  the  shore.  There 
was  about  them  a  deposit  of  sulphur,  iron,  and  alum.  One  or  two  of 
the  springs  contain  chloride  of  sodium.  The  average  temperature  of 
these  springs  was  183^  F.,  the  highest  being  198^  F.,  and  the  lowest 
178<^  F.    Our  camp  was  situated  on  a  high  bluff  on  the  edge  of  the  lake. 


Near  us  there  were  two  vents,  from  wMcli  the  steam,  in  escaping,  made 
a  noise  exactly  like -a  large  steamboat  letting  off  steam.  The  volume  of 
steam  was  very  large,  and  the  discharge  constant.  There  were  here  also 
some  small  mud- springs.  Every  night  while  at  this  place  we  experienced 
earthquake-shocks,  each  lasting  from  five  to  twenty  seconds.  We  named 
it  Earthquake  Camp.  A  few  hundred  yards  back  of  us  there  is  a  small 
group  of  mud-springs,  in  which"  the  mud  was  of  a  pure  white  color. 
About  two  miles  northeast  of  the  lake  we  discovered  a  small  lake,  which 
was  named  Turbid  Lake,  from  the  muddiness  of  its  water.  It  tasted  of 
alum,  and-  there  seemed  to  be  numerous  springs  throughout  it,  as  there 
was  a  bubbling  all  over  its  surface.  On  its  eastern  shore  there  was  a 
group  of  hot  springs,  mud-springs,  and  vents.  The  largest  spring  was 
situated  in  the  midst  of  a  small  stream  flowing  into  the  lake,  and  had  a 
temperature  of  186°  P.  On  the  side  of  a  small  hill,  at  whose  base  the 
principal  mud-springs  were  situated,  there  was  an  abundant  deposit  of 
sulphur  and  alum.  In  some  places  the  mud  had  become  quite  compact, 
and  upon  being  broken  revealed  the  presence  of  sulphur  runniug  through 
it  in  veins.  Almost  all  these  springs  gave  off  sulphureted  hydrogen  gas. 
The  temperatures  varied  from  176°  E.  to  192^  E.  A  short  distance  north 
of  this  group  there  were  some  large  mud-springs,  one  of  which  was 
white  and  another  black.  The  latter  had  a  large  quantity  of  sulphur 
in  its  composition.  On  the  northern  shore  of  the  lake  there  are  four  or 
five  cold  springs,  containing  chloride  of  sodium.  This  place  is  used  by 
the  deer  and  elk  as  a  lick.  Our  horses  recognized  the  presence  of  salt 
at  once,  and  licked  the  ground  with  avidity.  Nearly  all  the  springs 
near  the  Yellowstone  Lake  seem  to  have  passed  their  most  energetic 
stage,  and  are  now  on  the  decline. 

On  the  23d  of  August  we  left  Yellowstone  Lake,  and,  taking  a  north- 
easterly direction,  started  on  our  way  toward  the  East  Eork  of  the  Yel- 
lowstone Eiver.  The  first  part  of  our  route  was  along  Pelican  Creek, 
one  of  the  tributaries  of  the  lake,  which  we  followed  to  its  source,  cross- 
ing the  divide  between  it  and  the  branches  of  the  East  Eork,  toward 
evening,  when  we  camped  at  the  shore  of  a  beautiful  little  lake  in  the 
woods.  The  valley  of  Pelican  Creek  is  quite  wide,  and  the  stream  flows 
through  it  in  a  serpentine  manner,  its  waters  covered  with  wild  ducks 
and  geese.  There  were  a  number  of  springs  scattered  along  its  banks, 
the  majority  of  them  cold.  One,  however,  had  a  temperature  of  66°  P. 
There  were  a  few  geyser-cones,  although  as  geysers  they  are  probably 
now  extinct.  We  reached  the  southern  branch  of  the  East  Fork  the  fol- 
lowing evening,  after  a  day  of  hard  travel  through  the  dense  pine  forests 
and  up  and  down  steep  mountains,  and  camped,  a  few  miles  above  the 
junction  of  the  north  and  south  branches,  in  a  wide  open  valley.  In 
the  bed  of  the  stream  I  obtained  good  specimens  of  agate,  quartz,  and 
chalcedony.  Some  were  in  the  form  of  geodes,  and  contained  opal  in 
the  center.  I  also  obtained  black  flint,  green  jasper,  and  excellent 
pieces  of  silicified  wood,  some  of  which  were  of  a  jet-black  color,  hadng 
veins  of  blue  chalcedony  running  through  it.  About  three  miles  from 
our  camp,  on  the  north  branch  of  the  East  Fork  was  a  large  mound  of 
hot-spring  formation,  consisting  chiefly  of  calcareous  material  resem- 
bling very  much  the  formation  at  Gardiner's  Eiver.  It  is  conical,  about 
20  feet  high,  and  25  feet  in  diameter  at  its  base.  It  is  situated  on  one 
end  of  a  sort  of  i^latform,  of  the  same  material,  which  is  75  feet  long, 
and  rises  15  feet  above  the  surrounding  level.  It  is  probably  an  ex- 
tinct geyser,  although  now  there  is  no  water  in  it,  nor  is  there  any  hot 
spring  near.  There  is,  however,  a  cold  spring  near  it,  in  which  the 
water  had  an  acid  reaction,  tasting  strongly  of  Iron  alum,  of  which  there 


"vras  quite  aniibnndant  deposit  about  it.  It  is  situated  on  the  bank  of  a 
small  creek,  and  gives  off  sulphureted  hydrogen. 

We  reached  tbe  junction  of  the  two  forks  of  the  Yellowstone  on  the 
25th  of  August,  having  made  the  circuit  of  Yellowstone  Lake,  includ- 
ing the  geysers  also.  Near  the  junction  there  is  a  large  extent  of 
ground  strewn  with  huge  granitic  bowlders.  Farther  up  the  East  Fork 
of  the  Yellowstone  than  we  went  there  is  said  to  be  gold,  although  at 
the  present  time  it  is  unsafe  to  mine  there,  on  account  of  the  Indians.'  I 
was  given  several  specimens  of  galena  and  pyrites,  said  to  be  from  that 
locality,  from  surface-diggings.  We  crossed  the  Yellowstone  on  the 
first  and  only  bridge  over  its  water,  which  was  built  here  by  one  of 
the  trappers  in  anticipation  of  a  rush  to  the  gold-diggings  of  Clarke's 
Fork.  From  the  junction  we  followed  our  old  trail,  ]3ast  the  White  Hot 
Springs,  the  Devil's  Slide,  and  the  Lower  Canon,  to  Botteler's  Eanch, 
getting  into  the  permanent  camp  on  the  27th  of  August.  On  the  oppo- 
site side  of  the  Yellowstone  from  our  camp,  there  is  a  high  volcanic 
peak,  one  of  a  long  chain.  It  bears  the  name  of  Emigrant  Peak,  and 
rises  10,629  feet  above  the  level  of  the  river.  Its  summit  is  composed 
of  a  very  dark,  compact  basalt,  containing  a  few  small  crystals  of  mica. 
Lower  down  it  passes  into  a  lighter  variety.  In  Emigrant  Gulch,  which 
is  at  its  base,  there  are  granites  and  chloritic  rocks.  Specimens  of  pum- 
ice-stone were  found  near  the  head  of  the  gulch.  There  is  some  little 
placer-mining  for  gold  carried  on  in  the  gulch,  though  as  yet  not  in  a 
systematic  manner. 

We  left  Botteler's  on  the  29th  of  August,  arriving  at  Fort  Ellis  the 
following  day.  On  the  way  I  obtained  a  specimen  of  a  rhyolitic  rock, 
having  a  very  compact,  violet-colored  matrix,  resembling  the  matrix  of 
the  felstones.  It  was  enamel-like,  and  contained  crystals  of  feldspar 
and  mica. 

On  the  5th  of  September  we  left  Fort  Ellis,  starting  on  our  home- 
ward trip.  Fording  the  Gallatin  and  Madison  Eivers,  we  passed  the 
junction  of  the  three  forks  of  the  Missouri,  and  camped  near  the  Jeffer- 
son Eiver.  The  valley  is  quite  wide,  and  well  cultivated.  The  only 
rocks  observed  were  limestone,  which  continued  to  the  Jefferson.  The 
river  cuts  its  way  through  them,  forming  a  deep  caiion,  obliging  us  to 
cross  the  hills  east  of  the  stream.  Here  we  encountered  gneissic  and 
granitic  rocks,  upon  which  rested  beds  of  reddish  quartzites. 

On  the  8th  we  again  struck  the  Jefferson,  and  followed  it  until  we 
reached  its  commencement  in  the  union  of  the  Big  Hole  and  Beaver 
Head  Eivers.  The  mountains  on  both  sides  of  the  Jefferson  are  granitic, 
and  contain  auriferous  lodes.  On  the  side  opposite  that  on  which  we 
were  there  were  a  number,  two  of  which  are  named  the  Highland  and 
the  Clipper.  One  has  a  depth  of  300  feet,  and  has  been  worked  steadily 
for  the  last  three  years.  At  the  base  of  the  mountain  there  are  three 
or  four  quartz-mills.  The  formation  we  passed  over  was  drift,  contain- 
iug  quartz  and  granite  bowlders.  The  Beaver  Head  coming  in  from 
the  left,  we  followed  it  to  its  sources.  On  the  10th  we  camped  at 
Beaver  Head  Eock.  This  is  a  huge  mass  of  limestone,  through  which  the 
river  has  cut  its  way,  leaving  the  rock  on  the  left  bank  standing  with  an 
almost  perpendicular  wail  facing  the  stream.  From  a  distance  the  re- 
semblance'to  the  head  of  a  beaver  is  very  striking,  whence  its  name. 
Near  here  there  is  found  a  good  quality  of  sandstone,  which  is  employed 
in  making  grindstones.  It  is  of  a  light-gray  color,  and  of  a  good  quality 
for  that  purpose.  The  next  day  we  camped  near  Black-Tail  Deer  Creek, 
the  rocks  we  passed  having  been  similar  to  those  of  the  day  before, 
with  the  exception  of  red  eivanites  and  felstones,  of  the  same  kind  that 


we  met  with  on  our  way  to  Virginia  City  in  June.  They  probably  ex- 
tend across  the  country.  ]  rode  up  the  valley  for  some  distance,  and 
found  the  mountains  to  be  limestones,  alternating  with  white  quartzites, 
for  six  or  seven  miles.  I  also  discovered  a  trap -dike.  Near  the  mouth 
of  the  valley  there  is  an  old  hot-spring  formation,  of  which  nothing  now 
remains  save  the  hard  calcareous  basins,  overgrown  with  low  bushes 
and  grass.  The  basins  are  on  the  side  of  a  hill,  and  when  the  springs 
were  active  must  have  resembled  very  closely  the  springs  at  Gardiner's 
Eiver.  There  is  a  small  stream  of  cold  water  flowing  over  it.  Eeaching 
the  Beaver  Head  Eiver  again,  I  proceeded  up  the  stream,  through  a 
rather  picturesque  canon,  at  whose  mouth  were  towering  masses  of  a 
trachyte  porphyry,  which  was  vesicular,  having  a  brown,  vitreous  matrix, 
containing  small,  irregular  cavities  coated  with  blue  chalcedony.  This 
rock  rests  upon  white  sandstones  of  loose  texture,  which  are  probably 
of  Tertiary  origin.  Crossing  the  river,  our  road  led  us  close  by  expo- 
sures of  siliceous  clay-slates,  which  were  again  succeeded  by  an  igneous 
rock  of  a  greenish-black  color,  and  specific  gravity  of  2.32,  the  cavities 
being  filled  with  masses  of  chalcedony  varying  from  the  size  of  a  pin- 
head  to  two  inches  in  diameter. 

We  also  met  with  an  old  hot-spring  formation,  probably  connected 
with  the  one  mentioned  above  as  occurring  in  Black-Tail  Deer  Creek 
Valley.  The  deposit  is  calcareous,  very  hard,  and  the  springs  must  be 
long  extinct.  The  water,  which  is  cold,  flows  over  it,  forming  a  small 
cascade.  I  obtained  some  good  specimens  of  calcareous  tufa.  We  also 
passed  some  beds  of  bright-red  sandstone  conglomerates,  or  pudding- 
stone,  as  the  pebbles  were  small.  We  obtained  specimens  of  a  breccia- 
ted  rock,  which  seems  to  be  a  friction  breccia.  The  matrix  is  of  a  junk 
color,  and  seems  to  be  volcanic  in  its  nature,  while  the  fragments  it 
incloses  are  siliceous,  and  of  a  greenish-white  color.  It  probably  occurs 
at  the  margin  of  the  trachytic  rocks  found  in  the  caiion.  Our  camp  on 
the  11th  of  August  was  on  Horse  Plain  Creek,  in  a  valley  covered  in 
spots  with  quite  an  abundant  deposit  of  alkali.  Leaving  here,  the  rocks 
first  encountered  were  granitoid  gneisses,  succeeding  which  were  alter- 
nate beds  of  limestones  and  quartzites,  which  continued,  with  the  ex- 
ception of  a  few  igneous  outbursts,  until  we  reached  the  main  divide  of 
the  Eocky  Mountains,  a  distance  of  about  thirty  miles.  On  Sage  Creek, 
in  the  foot-hills,  there  were  beds  of  light-brown  clay-slates,  which  were 
fossiliferous.  We  crossed  the  divide  on  the  14th  of  September,  over 
reddish  quartzites  highly  metamorphosed,  probably,  in  part  at  least,  by 
contact  with  an  outburst  of  igneous  rock  at  the  same  place.  We  pro- 
ceeded down  Medicine  Lodge  Creek,  camping  on  that  stream  in  the 
evening.  We  passed  by  a  bed  of  old  hot-spring  deposit,  resembling  a 
stratified  limestone.  It  was  about  60  feet  in  thickness.  Near  camp, 
there  was  an  exposure  of  purplish-colored  volcanic  rock,  that  I  con- 
sider a  trachyte,  upon  which  rested  a  dark  basaltic  rock.  Beneath 
these  were  white  sandstones,  very  fine-grained  and  splitting  into  layers 
of  an  inch  in  thickness.  They  are  probably  Pliocene  in  their  origin. 
Just  before  reaching  the  Snake  Eiver  Valley,  we  ascended  a  broad 
plateau  of  basaltic  rock,  like  that  bordering  on  Snake  Eiver.  In  crev- 
ices in  the  rock,  we  found  obsidian.  We  crossed  Snake  Eiver  the  second 
time,  finding  it  about  20  feet  lower  than  when  we  crossed  it  in  June. 
We  arrived  at  Fort  Hall  on  the  19th,  and  left  on  the  21st,  proceeding  up 
.'Lincoln  Valley,  between  hills  of  Jurassic  limestone.  We  camped  in  the 
-evening  at  Twin  Springs,  where  there  are  the  remains  of  old  hot  springs. 
Kear  us  there  were  two  extinct  craters,  and  the  whole  valley  was  overflowed 
with  lava.    The  following  day  we  reached  Bear  Eiver,  and  turning  up  it 


proceeded  but  a  short  distance  before  reacbing  tbe  famous  Soda  Springs. 
There  are  here  two  settlements,  and  we  spent  a  day  in  examining  the 
springs.    In  tbe  bed  of  the  river  there  are  a  number  from  which  bub- 
bles of  gas  are  constantly  escaping  through  the  water.    The  first  spring 
which  we  notice  is  situated  on  the  bank  of  the  river,  close  to  its  edge, 
a  short  distance  below  the  town.    It  is  iii  the  top  of  a  cone,  which  is  of 
a  bright-red  color,  due  to  the  deposit  of  oxide  of  iron.    There  is  a  large 
amount  of  carbonic  acid  gas  present  in  the  water,  and  its  escape  is  so 
violent  that  the  water  is  tlirown  to  the  height  of  one  and  two  feet  from 
the  basin.    It  seems  as  though  the  water  were  boiling,  so  violent  is  its 
agitation.    The  temperature,  however,  is  only  80^0  p.    The  taste  of  the 
water  is  agreeably  pungent,  and  slightly  metallic  from  the  presence  of 
iron.    This  is  the  spring  that  Fremont  named  the  Steamboat  Spring. 
Near  it  there  are  two  holes,  from  which  slightly  Avarm  air  and  carbonic 
acid  gas  escape  with  a  hissing  noise.    On  both  sides  of  the  river  at 
this  point  there  are  a  number  of  cones  of  a  rusty-red  color,  which  have 
probably  some  time  in  the  past  been  geysers.    There  is  also  near  here 
a  remarkable  rock,  that  might  well,  from  its  appearance,  be  taken  for  a 
coral.    It  is  of  a  bright-yellow  color,  and  is    composed  mainly  of  car- 
bonate of  lime  and  oxide  and  carbonate  of  iron.    It  is,  no  doubt,  a 
deposit  of  springs.    Some  distance  farther  up  the  river,  in  the  midst 
of  the  village,  there  is  another  spring  meriting  attention.    It  is  situated 
dn  the  banks  of  a  small  stream  flowing  into  Bear  Eiver.    It  is  of  the 
same  character  as  the  others,  and  has,  if  possible,  a  more  agreeable 
taste.    The  basin  of  the  spring  is  of  a  bright-red  color.    Between  the 
river  and  the  adjoining  hills,  which  are  composed  of  limestones,  there 
are  the  remains  of  numerous  springs.    Of  the  majority,  nothing  is  left 
but  the  hard  calcareous  material  and  pools  of  water,  about  which  there 
is  a  deposit  of  alkali.    Following  up  one  of  the  small  streams,  we  passed 
two  large  calcareous  mounds,  about  10  or  15  feet  high,  on  top  of  which 
there  were  some  springs,  one  of  which  was  intermittent,  the  water 
escaping  from  it  in  pulsations.    Near  this  there  is  a  spring  that  has 
been  inclosed  and  a. pavilion  erected  over  it.    It  is  of  the  same  nature 
as  others  described.    The  escape  of  carbonic  acid  gas  is  very  abundant. 
About  three  miles  farther  up  the  valley  we  came  to  a  most  remark- 
able formation,  consisting  of  the  basins  of  old  springs  long  extinct. 
They  are  called  the  petrifying  springs  by  the  settlers,  from  the  abund- 
ance of  calcareous  tufa  which  exists  in  the  basins.      There  is  very 
little  water  in  the  springs  now.  '  Some  of  the  basins  were  6  feet  in 
depth,  and  contained  large  masses  of   plants  coated  with  the   cal- 
careous material,  which  retained  perfectly  the  form  of  the  leaf  and  stem. 
The  whole  area,  which  is  about  a  quarter  of   a  mile  in  extent,  is 
inclosed  by  a  fence.    We  left  Soda  Springs  on  the  25th  of  September, 
and  proceeded  xrp  Bear  Eiver.    We  had  gone  but  a  short  distance 
before  we  passed  an  old  spring  deposit,  nothing  being  left  but  the  hard- 
ened calcareous  deposit.    Our  next  camp  was  made  at  a  small  town 
named  Benuington,  the  rocks  in  the  hills  passed  by  us  during  the  day 
being  limestones  and  quartzites.    At  Montpelier,  the  next  town,  we 
crossed  Bear  Eiver,  and,  passing  through  the  towns  of  Ovid,  Paris,  and 
Saint  Charles,  arrived  at  Fish  Haven,  on  Bear  Eiver  Lake.    The  rocks 
continued  of  the  same  character.    We  were  shown  specimens  of  ores 
from  lodes,  said  to  exist  in  the  limestones.    Among  them  were  speci- 
mens of  galena,  malachite,  and  calcite.    But  little,  however,  has  been 
done  in  the  way  of  mining,  as  there  is  not,  as  yet,  enough  capital  in  the 
valley  to  make  it  profitable.    Leaving  Fish  Haven  we  passed  through 
Laketown,  Eandolph,  and  Woodruff,  arriving  at  Evanston,  ITtah,  on 

13  G  S 



the  28tli  of  September.  About  a  mile  from  the  town  there  is  one  of  the 
largest  coal-beds  in  the  West.  It  is  from  22  feet  to  32  feet  in  thickness. 
It  crops  out  on  the  western  side  of  a  hill,  composed  mainly  of  sand- 
stones. It  dips  10°  north  of  east.  There  are  fovir  slopes  being  worked 
at  present,  one  by  the  Wyoming  Goal  and  Mining  Company,  and  three 
by  the  Eocky  Mountain  Coal  and  Iron  Company.    At  the  mine  of  the 

Fig.  .64. 



■»ONE  COflU 

Wyoming  Company  the  main  bed  of  eoal  is  22  feet  thick,  as  shown  in 
jSTo.  1  of  the  accompanying  sections  in  Fig.  64  It  is  composed  as  fol- 
lows, from  above  downward : 

Fire-clay  roof. 

Feet.       Id. 

Coal 7 

Slate 5 

Good  coal 8            3 

Boue  coal 3 

Coal : , ..  1           2 

Slate I           5 


Feet       In. 

Best  coal... 2           9 

Slate : 3 

Coal 4 

Bone  coal - 2 

Good  coal 8           0 

Slate  or  bed-rock. 

This  is  the  most  southern  of  them  all ;  and  as  we  go  farther  north 
the  bed  becomes  thicker.  Mr.  Wardell  is  superintendent  of  the  Wyo- 
ming Company,  which  works,  in  addition  to  this  mine  at  Bvanston. 
mines  at  Carbon,  Eock  Springs,  and  Almy.  Fig.  2  is  a  section  at 
mine  ISo.  1,  of  the  Eocky  Mountain  Coal  and  Iron  Company.  It  con- 
sists as  follows,  from  above  downward : 


Coal 5 

Clav  and  shale 12 

Coal 7 

Clay 3 

Main  bed  of  coal,  witli  four  bands  of  slate 26 

Shale  and  clay 8 

Coal 5 

Clay  and  shale 15 

Iron  ore 3 

Clay  and  shale 15 

Nos.  2  and  3  are  sections  at  mines  ISTos.  2  and  3,  of  the  same  com- 
pany. They  are  the  same,  with  the  exception  of  the  main  body  of  coal, 
which  in  No.  2  is  30  feet  thick,  and  at  No.  3,  32  feet  thick.  In  No.  3 
the  clay  above  the  main  body  of  coal  is  2  feet  thick  instead  of  3,  and 
that  below,  5  instead  of  8.  Mine  No.  1  was  commenced  in  June,  1869, 
and  the  main  shaft  has  been  carried  in  a  distance  of  386  feet.  It  is  13 
feet  wide,  and  slopes  a  little  more  than  1  foot  in  4.  At  a  distance  of 
150  feet  from  the  entrance  is  the  first  level,  at  right  angles  to  the  main 
shaft.  It  is  15  feet  in  width.  On  the  north  side  it  has  reached  a  dis- 
tance of  330  feet  from  the  main  shaft,  and  on  the  south  side  450  feet. 
One  hundred  and  fifty  feet  below  this  is  the  second  level,  which  on  the 
north  side  has  penetrated  330  feet,  and  on  the  south  400  feet.  From 
each  level  chambers  are  worked  through  to  the  level  above,  parallel  to 
the  main  shaft.  They  are  30  feet  apart,  and  the  entrance  is  12  feet  in. 
width,  which  is  rapidly  widened  to  18  feet.  Mine  No.  2  was  opened  in 
August,  1869,  and  has  now  reached  a  depth  of  520  feet.  It  slopes  about 
1  foot  in  4,  and  is  worked  on  the  same  plan  as  No.  1,  with  this  excej)- 
tion,  that  the  third  level,  instead  of  commencing  at  the  main  shaft,  does 
so  at  the  end  of  shafts  which  branch  from  the  main  one  at  an  angle  of 
45'^.  These  shafts  are,  one  on  each  side,  18  feet  in  width.  The  first 
level  on  both  sides  of  the  main  shaft  runs  to  the  outcrop,  a  distance  of 
412  feet  in  each  case.  The  second  level,  a  distance  of  150  feet  from  the 
first,  runs  to  the  outcrop  413  feet  on  the  south  side,  and  on  the  north 
has  been  carried  700  feet,  and  will  go  1,000  feet  when  it  reaches  the 
line  between  it  and  mine  No.  3.  The  third  level  penetrates  85  feet  on 
each  side.  Mine  No.  3  was  opened  in  April,  1871,  and  has  reached  a 
depth  of  190  feet.  The  first  level  only  has  been  commenced,  being  50 
feet  each  side.  It  will  be  worked  on  the  same  plan  as  Nos.  1  and  2. 
Bach  mine  has  two  engines  for  hoisting  the  coal.  There  are  two  hun- 
dred and  fifty  men  employed,  a  large  number  being  Chinamen,  who  live 
in  houses  erected  by  the  company,  near  the  mine.  There  is  also  quite 
a  large  store  at  the  mine.  The  company  supplies  the  Central  Pacific 
Eailroad,  and  its  branches  in  California,  and  the  Pacific  steamship  lines 
with  coal.    About  350  tons  per  day  are  mined,  and  the  company  expect  to 


increase  this.  The  officers  are  as  follows :  D.  Colton,  of  San  Francisco, 
president ;  Fox  Diefendorf,  of  Corinne,  vice-president ;  H.  K.  White,  of 
San  Francisco,  secretary ;  C.  T.  Deuel,  resident  at  the  mines,  superin- 
tendent ;  and  Gr.  A.  Henry,  of  San  Francisco,  general  agent.  The  coal  is 
a  lignite,  of  a  very  black  color,  and  having  a  high  luster.  It  breaks  into 
parallelopipeds.  It  contains  from  71  to  73  per  cent,  of  carbon.  The 
value  of  this  bed  of  coal  can  scarcely  be  estimated,  especially  as  it  is 
situated  in  a  country  where  timber  is  so  scarce,  and  even  the  small 
amount  that  does  exist  is  so  liable  to  be  destroyed  by  fires  in  the  fall 
of  the  year,  as  we  observed  on  our  way  up  Bear  Eiver  Yalley.  The 
iron  ore  that  lies  beneath  the  coal  is  of  a  light  brownish-gray  color, 
being  argillaceous.  It  contains  35  per  cent,  of  oxide  of  iron,  30  per 
cent,  of  lime,  and  20  per  cent,  of  silica.  We  left  Evanston  on  the  1st 
of  October,  and  arrived  at  Fort  Bridger  the  following  day,  where  the 
expedition  disbanded. 



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Agate.  In  pebbles  on  the  sbore  of  Yellowstone  Lake,  Wyoming 
Territory ;  in  the  bed  of  the  south  branch  of  East  Fork  of  Yellow- 
stone Eiver. 

AzuRiTE,  (blue  carbonate  of  copper.)  Near  Virginia  City,  Madison 
County,  Montana  Territory. 

BiOTiTE,  (black  mica.)  In  granite"  at  the  head -of  Wild  Cat  Canon,  Mon- 
tana Territory. 

Calcitb,  (carbonate  of  lime.)  Broicn  spar  near  Oxford,  Idaho  Terri- 
tory. Ehomb  spar  near  Copenhagen,  Utah  Territory ;  in  the  valley 
of  the  Yellowstone  Eiver;  in  Bear  Eiver  Valley,  back  of  Saint  Charles, 
Utah  Territory;  at  Promontory  Point,  Yellowstone  Lake.  Wyom- 
ing Territory.  Iceland  spar  near  the  Crow  Indian  Agency,  on  the 
Yellowstone  Eiver,  Montana  Territory.  Crystals  of  calcite  on  volcanic 
rock  at  Gardiner's  Eiver,  near  the  White  Hot  Springs. 

Chalcedony.  Eounded  pebbles,  on  the  shores  of  Yellowstone  Lake ; 
in  geodes  with  agate,  opal,  and  quartz,  on  the  south  branch  of  the 
East  Fork  of  Yellowstone  Eiver ;  in  chips  throughout  the  valley  of 
the  Yellowstone  Eiver ;  in  geodes,  with  quartz  and  calcite,  near 
Gardiner's  Eiver ;  at  the  foot  of  Mount  Washburne ;  in  cavities,  in 
an  araygdaloidal  traj)-rock,  on  Beaver  Head  Eiver,  Jefferson  County, 
Montana  Territory.  Beautiful  blue  specimens  in  jasper,  at  Eed  Bluff 
lode,  Madison  County,  Montana  Territory. 

Chalcofyrite,  (copper  pyrites.)  Near  Virginia  City,  Montana  Terri- 
tory; at»Eed  Bluff  lode,  with  galena,  Madison  County,  Montana 

Coal,  (lignite.)  Near  Fort  Ellis,  Gallatin  County,  Montana  Territory ; 
at  Evauston,  Utah  Territory. 

Cuprite,  (red  oxide  of  copper.)  Near  Virginia  City^  Madison  County, 
Montana  Territory. 

Feldspar.  Albite,  with  quartz,  in  Port  Neuf  Canon,  Idaho  Territory ; 
in  granites  near  Botteler's,  Montana  Territory.  Labradorite  in  gran- 
ites in  Wild  Cat  Canon,  Montana  Territory.  OrtJioclase  in  syenites 
at  Ogden,  Utah  Territory ;  in  granites,  through  Idaho  and  Montana 
Territories,  Sanidine  in  phonolite  at  Pleasant  Valley;  in  trachytes 
in  Grand  Canon  of  the  Yellowstone  Eiver ;  in  trachytes  about  Yel- 

.  lowstone  Lake. 

Flint,  (black  variety.)  On  south  branch  of  the  East  Fork  of  Yellow- 
stone Eiver. 

Garnets.  Below  Virginia  City  in  gneissic  rocks;  in  Alder  Gulch, 
near  Virginia  City ;  on  the  Madison  Eiver,  about  forty  miles  above 
Virginia  City;  in  hornblende  schist  in  canon  of  the  Yellowstone 
Eiver,  above  Botteler's ;  in  bowlders  near  the  caiion  of  the  Jefferson 
Eiver,  near  the  junction  of  the  three  forks  of  the  Missouri  Eiver. 

Galena,  (sulphide  of  lead.)  Argentiferous,  near  Virginia  City,  Mon- 
tana Territory ;  with  copper  pyrites  at  Eed  Bluff  lode.  Hot  Spring 
district,  Madison  County,  Montana  Territory;  in  the  mountains 
along  Cache  Valley,  Utah  Territory;  in  limestones  in  the  mountains 
in  Bear  Eiver  Valley,  Utah  Territory. 

Geyserite,  (siliceous  sinter.)  In  the  geyser-basins  of  the  Fire-Hole 
Eiver.  Pink,  translucent  varieties  in  the  lower  basin ;  also  small 
balls  of  the  same,  some  smooth,  others  covered  with  a  rosette-like 
formation ;  gray  and  white  varieties,  having  a  cauliflower-like  form, 
abundant  in  both  the  lower  and  upper  basins ;  also  massive,  compact, 
porous,  and  pearly  varieties  in  both  basins. 


Gold.  In  placer-mines,  Alder  Gnlcb,  Madison  County,  Montana  Ter- 
ritory ;  in  various  mines  about  Virginia  City ;  in  a  jaspery  ore  at 
Eed  Bluff  lode,  Hot  Spring  district,  Madison  County,  Montana  Ter- 
ritory ;  in  Emigrant  Gulch,  opposite  Botteler's  Eauch,  on  Yellow- 
stone Eiver,  Montana  Territory ;  in  mountains  along  the  Jefferson 
Eiver,  Jefferson  County,  Montana  Territory. 

Halite,  (common  salt).  In  cold  springs  on  Turbid  Lake,  near  Yellow- 
stone Lake ;   in  springs  near  Evanston,  Utah ;  in  springs  in  Idaho. 

Hauynite.    In  phonolite,  in  Pleasant  Valley,  Idaho  Territory. 

Hornblende.  In  syenites  at  Ogdeu,  Utah  Territory ;  in  hornblende 
schists  below  Virginia  City,  Montana  Territory ;  in  gneissic  rocks  on 
tbe  Madison  Eiver  above  Virginia  City ;  in  gneissic  rocks  in  the 
caSon  of  the  Yellowstone  Eiver  above  JBotteler's  ;  in  acicular  crj^s- 
tals  in  trachyte  on  the  summit  of  Mount  Washburne,  near  the  Great 
Falls  of  the  Yellowstone ;  in  the  same  form  in  trachytic  rocks  on  top 
of  Mount  Stevenson,  near  Yellowstone  Lake;  in  a  red  volcanic  rock 
witli  calcite  at  Promontory  Point,  Yellow^stone  Lake. 

Jasper.  Eed  variety  associated  with  blue  chalcedony  and  opal  at  Eed 
Bluff*  lode,  Montana  Territory ;  green  variety  on  south  branch  of  the 
East  Fork  of  Yellow^stone  Eiver. 

Leucite.    In  volcanic  rocks  near  Yellowstone  Lake. 

Malachite,  (green  carbonate  of  copper.)  Wild  Cat  Canon,  Montana 
Territory;  near  Virginia  City,  Montana  Territory;  witli  chalcedony 
near  Mount  Washburne. 

Minium,  (red  oxide  of  lead.)    Near  Virginia  City,  Montana  Territory. 

Nephelite,  (var.  sommite.)  In  i3honolite  at  Pleasant  Valley,  Idaho 

Opal.  Wood-opal  at  tbe  southeast  arm  of  Yellowstone  Lake ;  beauti- 
ful black  and  white  specimens  from  Jefferson  County,  Montana  Ter- 
ritory. Semi-opal  in  center  of  quartz  geodes  on  the  south  branch  of 
the  East  Fork  of  Yellowstone  Eiver.  Dendritic  at  Eed  Bluff' lode.  Hot 
Spring  district,  Madison  County,  Montana  Territory.  Geyserite  in 
the  geyser-basins  of  Fire-Hole  Eiver. 

Obsidian,  (volcanic  glass.)  In  chips  along  the  Port  Neuf  Eiver,  in  vol- 
canic rock  ;  in  the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone  Eiver  in  chips  ;  in  vol- 
canic rocks  in  the  Grand  Cation  of  the  Yellowstone ;  massive  in  the 
mountain  ridge  between  Yellowstone  Lake  and  the  Fire-Hole  Eiver; 
porphyritic  near  Madison  Lake. 

Pumice.  Emigrant  Gulch  opi^osite  Botteler's ;  near  Yellowstone 

Quartz.  In  granites  throughout  the  Eocky  Mountains;  in  geodes, 
with  chalcedony,  near  Gardiner's  Eiver ;  in  geodes  on  south  branch 
of  East  Fork  of  Yellowstone  Eiver;  crystals  near  Virginia  City.  Mon- 
tana Territory. 

Serpentine,  (compact  resinous.)  In  Alder  Gulch,  near  Virginia  City, 
Montana  Territory. 

SiLiciFiED  Wood.  At  Tower  Creek  at  the  foot  of  Tower  Falls;  near 
White  Hot  Springs  at  Gardiner's  Eiver ;  on  the  southeast  shore  of 
Y^ellowstone  Lake.  Handsome  black  specimens,  with  veins  of  blue 
chalcedony,  on  the  south  branch  of  the  East  Fork  of  Yellowstone 
Eiver,  in  Jefferson  County,  Montana  Territory. 

Silver.  Native  and  as  chloride,  in  various  mines  about  Virginia  City ; 
near  Oxford,  Idaho  Territory ;  in  galena,  throughout  Utah,  Idaho, 
and  Montana  Territories. 

Spherulite.  At  the  Grand  Caiion  of  the  Yellowstone  River ;  at  the 
southern  end  of  Yellowstone  Lake. 



Sulphur.  At  White  Hot  Springs  on  Gardiner's  Eiver ;  at  Tower 
Creek,  in  a  ravine  near  hot  springs ;  at  foot  of  Mount  Washburne ; 
at-  Crater  Hills  in  beautiful  crystals  lining  the  crust  or  deposit ;.  on 
the  East  Fork  of  Madison  Eiver  in  old,  extinct,  hot-spring  basins  5  at 
Turbid  Lake  near  hot  springs ;  near  Evanston,  Utah  Territory. 

Tufa,  (calcareous.)  At  Soda  Springs,  on  Bear  Eiver,  Utah  Territory, 
in  huge  masses,  retaining  perfectly  the  shape  of  the  plants  incrustedj 
in  Beaver  Head  CaQon,  Jefferson  County,  Montana. 


There  were  627  specimeus,  including  duplicates,  collected  during  the  summer,  com- 
mencing at  Ogden  and  ending  at  Fort  Bridger. 



Dark-red  ferruginous  sandstone 

Reddish  syenite 

Metamorphic  siliceous  conglomerate 


White  quartzite 

Light-gray  cherty  limestone 

Dark-hluish  cherty  limestone 

Siliceous  clay-slate  . , 

Dark-blue  mountain  limestone 

Oolitic  limestone 

Gray  siliceous  limestone 


Amygdaloidal  melaphyre 


Chlorite  schist i  -  - 

Dark-rod  quartzite 

ferruginous  quartzite - 

White  sandstone,  (Pliocene) - . . 

White  sandstone,  (Pliocene,  dendritic) . . 

Light-brown  quartzite — 

White  limestone 

Siliceous  mica  schist.  . .  -• 

Purple  quartz  sandstone 

Coarse-grained  ferruginous  sandstone. . . 

Dark-blue  limestone 

Ferruginous  siliceous  slate 

Ked  quartzite 

Dark-gray  quartz  schist 

Arkose,  or  feldspathic  sandstone 

White  quartzite 

Quartz  porphyry 


Chlorite  schist - 

Greenish-gray  quartz  schist 

White  quartz  schist 

Eed  quartzite 

White  friable  sandstone,  (Tertiary) ■. 

Vesicular  basalt 

Compact  basalt 

Fine-grained  red  sandstone 

Jurassic  limestone,  (gray) 

Slate-colored  trachyte 

Ked  quartzite,  (highly  inetamorphosed) . 

Vesicular  basalt 

Compact  basalt,  (with  white  crust) 


Slaty  porphyritic  phonoUte 

Conipact  porphyritic  phonolite 

White  cavernous  trachyte 

Pink  sandstone 

Wliite  quartzite 

Pink  and  white  sandstone 

White  sandstone 

Ked  sandstone 

Light-brown  limestone 

Bluish-gray  sandstone,  (Pliocene) 

Gray  dendritic  sandstone,  (Pliocene) . 
Bluish-white  sandstone,  (Pliocene) . . . 

Old  hot  spring  deposit 

White  argillaceous  sandstone 

Yellow  argillaceoua  sandstone 


Ogden  Canon,  Ogden,  Utah  Territory. 







Dry  Lake  Valley,  Utah  Temtory. 
Cache  Valley,  Utah  Territory. 

Bear  Kiyer,  Utah  Territory. 
Near  Clifton. 

Between  Clifton  and  Oxford. 
Above  Oxford. 
Ked  Eock  Pass. 
Marsh  Creek  Valley,  Idaho  Territory. 

Port  Neuf  Canon,  Idaho  Territory. 

















Port  Neuf  Kiver,  Idaho  Territory. 

Near  Fort  Hall,  Idaho  Territory. 

Eagle  Rock,  Snake  Kiver,  Idaho  Territory. 



Cave  at  Hole  in  the  Eock,  Idaho  Territory. 
Mouth  of  Beaver  Head  Canon,  Idaho  Ter. 
Pleasant  Valley,  Idaho  Territory. 
Near  the  Divide  of  Rocky  Mountains,  Idaho 

Mount  Garfield,  Montana  Territory. 





Little  Sage  Creek  Valley,  Montana  Temtory. 





Wild  Cat  Cauon,  Montana  Territory. 


Catalogue  of  rocks — Coatinued. 







Purple  felstone  or  potrosilex 

Gray  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Yellow  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Eecl  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Ked  elvanite  or  quartz  porphyry 

Gray  elvanite  or  quartz  porphj'ry , 

Pink  elvanite  or  quartz  porphyry 

Ked  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Yellow  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Flesh-colored  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Gray  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Chlorite  schist 

Light-gray  sandstone,  (Pliocene)  - 

Greenish  sandstone  conglomerate 


Blue  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Ar.ffillaceous  sandstone 

Yellowish-gray  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Gray  sandstone 

Blue  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Gray  quartz  porphyry  or  elvanite 

Pink  felstone  or  petrosilex 

Gray  elvanite  or  quartz  porphyry 

Jasper  porphyry 

Striped  or  slaty  porphyry 

Chlorite  schist 

Garnetiferous  hornblende  schist 

"White  quartz , 

Old  hot  spring  deposit 

Igneous  rock  basalt 

Igneous  rock,  (red) 

Light-red  coarse  sandstone 

Dark -brown  ferruginous  sandstone 

Garnetiferous  gneiss 

Greissen , 

Compact  red  sandstone 

Volcanic  conglomerate 

Yellow  quartzite 

Coarse  brown  sandstone 


Albite  granite 

Pinkish  trachyte,  with  hornblende 

Yiolet-oolored  rhy elite,  with  mica 



Chlorite  schist 


Eed  sandstone 


Eed  volcanic  breccia 

Hornblende  schist,  (garnetiferous) 

Gray  gneiss 

Gre(3n  porphyritio  trachyte 

(jrray  porphyritic  trachyte 

Dark-green  porphyritic  trachyte 

Siliceous  clay-slate 

"White  quartzite , 

Gray  quartzite 

Gray  sandstone 

Bed  limestone 

Yellow  limestone , 


Basalt  coated  with  calcite 

Gray  rhyoUte , 

Light  yellowish-gray  trachyte 

Dark-gray  rhyolite . ". _ 

Old  hot  spring  deposit 

(jreenish-gray  rhyolite 

Yellow  rhyolite 

Blue  rhyolite 

Chalcedony,  with  malachite 

"White  trachyte 

"White  and  red  trachyte 

Bluish  trachyte  iniiltrated  with  sulphur 

Dark  perlite-like  trachyte 

"White  trachyte 

Gray  rhyolite '. ...: . . .; . , 


"Wild  Cat  Canon,  Montana  Territory. 











Devil's  Pathway,  Montana  Territory. 













Below  "Virginia  City,  Montana  Territory. 


Above  Virginia  City,  Montana  Territory. 



Madison  Eiver,  above  Virginia  City. 

Mystic  Lake,  near  Port  Ellis,  Montana  Ter. 


Spring  Canon,  near  Port  Ellis,  Montana  Ter. 
Above  Spring  CaBion,  near  Port  EUis,  Mon- 
tana Territory. 
Xear  Botteler's,  on  Yellowstone  Eiver. 


Emigrant  Gulch,  Montana  Territory. 

Emigrant  Peak,  Montana  Territory. 



Above  Botteler's,  on  Yellowstone  Eiver. 
Canon  of  Yellowstone,  above  Botteler's. 

Devil's  Slide,  Cinnabar  Mountain. 








Above  Cinnabar  Mountain. 
Gardiner's  Eiver. 

On  mountain,  near  Hot  Springs,  Gardiner's 


Hot  Springs,  at  Gardiner's  Eiver. 
On  mountain,  near  Hot  Springs,  Gardiner's 

Tower  Creek. 
Poot  of  Mount  "Wasbburne. 
Grand  Canon  of  the  Yellowstone  Kiver, 







Catalogue  of  rocks — Continued. 


Spherulite .' 

Obsidian,  with  spherulite 

Pink  trachyte 

Pbrphyritic  obsidian 

Volcanic  conglomerate 

Old  hot-spring  deposit 


White  trachyte  tufa 

Argillaceo'tts  sandstone 

Eod  volcanic  pudding-stone 


Porphyritic  obsidian 


Spherulite - . . 

Porphyritic  obsidian 


Trachyte,  with  hornblende  and  calcite.. 

Volcanic  breccia 

Old  hot-spring  deposit 

Gray  trachyte,  infiltrated  with  sulphur. 

White  trachyte 

Ked  trachyte 

Bluish  trachyte 

Greenish  trachyte 

Gray  trachyte,  with  hornblende 




Porphyritic  obsidian 

Red  and  black  basaltic  rock 

Hot-spring  deposit 

Silicified  wood 

Ked  rhyolitic  rock 

Volcanic  breccia 

Volcanic  conglomerate 


Hot-spring  deposit 

White  and  red  variegated  sandstone. 

White  trachjrte 

Greon  trachyte .• 

Hot-spring  deposit 

Yellowish  trachyte 

Hot-spring  deposit 


Volcanic  conglomerate 

Basalt,  (black) 

Basalt,  (red) , 

Basaltic  rocks,  (black) 


Brown  coarse  sandstone 

Blue  clay-slate 


Greenish-gray  sandstone 

Siliceous  clay-slate 

Dendritic  sandstone 



Hornblende  schist 



White  quartz 

Ked  compact  sandstone 

Yellow  calcareous  sandstone. 

Dark-blue  limestone 

Garnetiferous  gneiss 

Mica  schist , . . 



White  quartzite 


Old  hot-spring  deposit 


Ked  sandstone 




Coarse  gray  sandstone. ....... 

Dark-pur pilsh  rhy elite 

Light-bluish  rhyolite 


Grand  Canon  of  the  Yellowstone  River. 





Crater  Hills,  Yellowstone  Kiver. 

Mud-volcanoes,  Yellowstone  Kiver. 

East  Fork  of  Madison  Elver. 
ITear  Madison  Lake. 
West  side  of  Yellowstone  Lake, 
Southern  shore  of  Yellowstone  Lake. 


Promontory  Point,  Yellowstone  Lake. 
Southeast  shore  of  Yellowstone  Lake. 
Brimstone  Basin,  east  side  Yellowstone  Lake. 





Top  of  Mount  Stevenson,  east  side  of  Yellow- 
stone Lake. 
Top  of  Moun,t  Doane,  east  side  of  Yellowstone 

East  shore  of  Yellowstone  Lake. 







STortheast  shore  of  Yellowstone  Lake. 

Turbid  Lake,  near  Yellowstone  Lake. 




Pelican  Creek. 

South  branch  of  East  Fork  of  Yellowstone 



mesLV  Crow  Indian  agency,  Yellowstone  River. 
Near  Fort  Ellis,  Montana  Territory. 
East  side  Gallatin  Kiver,  Montana  Territory. 



Between  Jefferson  and  Madison  Rivers. 









West  side  of  Jefferson  River. 


Black-Tail,  Deer  Creek  Valley,  Montana  Ter. 






Beaver  Head  Rock,  Montana  Territory. 

Beaver  Head  Canon,  Montana  Territory. 



Catalogue  of  rocks — Continued. 





White  sandstone,  (Pliocene) 

Clay-slate,  (siliceous) 

Coarse  red  sandstone 



Trap-rock,  with  chalcedony 

Old  hot-spring  deposit 

White  brecciated  volcanic  rock 

Eed  brecciated  volcanic  rock 

Eornblendic  gneiss 

Granite - 

Quartzite,  (highly  metamorphosed) 

Purplish  trachyte 

Gray  trachyte 

White  sandstone -  - 

Old  hot-spring  deposit 


Basalt -• 

Old  hot-spring  deposit,. (yeUow) 

Old  hot-spring  deposit,  (white) 

Old  hot-spring  deposit,  (red) 



White  quartzite 

Ked  quartzite 

Greenish  quartzite 


Yellowish  sandstone '. 

Gray  sandstone 

Yellow  sandstone 

Ked  sandstone 

White  sandstone 


Beaver  Head  Cauon,  Montana  Territory. 








Horse  Plain  Creek,  Montana  Territory. 

Main  Divide  of  Eocky  Mountains. 
Medicine  Lodge  Creek,  Idaho  Territory. 





Soda  Snrings,  Bear  Eiver,  Utah  Territory. 




Back  of  Bennington,  Utah  Territory. 

Swan  Creek,  Utah  Territory. 
Near  Evanston,  Utah  Territory. 


Between  Evanston  and  Fort  Bridger, 


Eort  Bridger. 

I>  A.IIT    II. 




Chap.   II.  THE  GREAT  BASIN. 





Washington,  D.  C,  February  1, 1872. 

Dear  Sir  :  Herewith  I  present  a  report  of  my  investigations  of  the 
agricultural  resources  of  the  Territories  during  the  i^ast  season. 

I  accompanied  the  exploring  party  from  Ogden,  in  Utah,  to  Virginia 
City,  Montana.  As  it  was  evident  the  party  would  visit  no  arable  areas 
of  importance  while  investigating  the  interesting  region  around  Yellow- 
stone Lake,  it  was  thought  best  that  I  should  visit  other  parts  of  Mon- 
tana Territory.  In  accordance  with  this  opinion,  I  separated  from  the 
main  party  at  Virginia  City  and  proceeded  to  Helena.  Here  I  was  for- 
tunate in  hading  a  number  of  w^ell-ihformed  persons  from  all  parts  of 
the  Territory,  through  whom  I  gained  a  large  amount  of  information  in 
regard  to  the  agricultural  resources  of  the  sections  I  was  unable  to  visit 
in  person.  From  this  point  I  crossed  over  the  dividing  range  of  the 
Eocky  Mountains  to  the  head-waters  of  the  Columbia.  I  take  pleasure 
in  stating  that  my  investigations  have  developed  the  fact  that  this 
interesting  Territory  possesses  a  much  larger  area  of  arable  land  than  I 
had  anticipated.  It  is  true  that  the  agricultural  lands  are  separated 
into  comparatively  small  areas;  but  this  character  has  its  advantage, 
as  it  secures  an  ample  supply  of  water  for  irrigating  purposes.  I  failed 
to  obtain  any  satisfactory  account  of  the  extreme  eastern  part  of  the 
Territory,  especially  that  part  lying  east  of  Fort  Benton.  That  it  con 
sists  of  broad,  level,  treeless  plains  is  well  known,  but  the  supply  of 
water  and  means  of  irrigation  aj)pear  to  have  been  overlooked  by  those 
who  have  visited  this  section.  As  the  Northern  Pacific  Eailroad  is  to 
pass  through  here  at  some  point,  it  is  important  that  this  should  be 
ascertained,  especially  as  the  descent  of  the  Missouri  below  Fort  Benton 
appears  to  be  too  small  to  give  any  promise  of  a  supply  of  water  for 
irrigation  from  it  by  the  ordinary  methods.  It  is  therefore  important 
that  further  data  should  be  obtained  on  this  point. 

The  climate  of  this  Territory  is  much  more  favorable  for  agriculture 
than  would  be  anticipated  from  its  northern  and  elevated  position. 
Indian  corn,  of  a  tolerably  good  quality,  is  grown  on  each  side  of  the 
range  without  any  serious  climatic  difficulty.  Even  melons  and  fruits 
are  matured  in  some  of  the  valleys.  Some  have  attenipted  to  account 
for  this  by  the  supposition  of  atmospheric  currents  from  the  Pacific 
Ocean,  &c. ;  but  the  real  reason  is  apparent  when  we  examine  the  barom- 
eter. The  Bitter-Eoot  Valley,  between  the  Eocky  and  Bitter-Eoot  Mount- 
ains, is  fully  1,200  feet  lower  than  the  level  of  Salt  Lake;  and  there  are 
no  broad,  open  plains  of  that  extent  sufficient  to  give  play  to  the  sweex)- 
ing  storm  that  often  visits  other  sections. 

The  valleys  and  hillsides  are  generally  coveted  with  rich  and  nutri- 
tious grasses,  alfording  excellent  pasturage  for  stock.  The  northwestern 
portion  has  a  large  area  covered  with  extensive  and  valuable  forests 
of  pine,  fir,  and  other  coniferous  trees.  I  was  surprised  to  find  the 
passes  across  the  main  range  so  easy  and  smooth ;  at  one  of  them.  Deer 
Lodge  Pass,  the  water  being  actually  taken  by  a  canal  from  the  Atlan- 
'  tic  to  the  Pacific  side. 

I  found  the  citizens  everywhere  deeply  interested  in  these  investiga- 


tions,  and  always  ready  to  assist  me  in  every  possible  way,  and  to  them 
T  am  indebted  for  much  of  the  information  contained  in  my  report  on 
that  Territory.  And  I  am  glad  to  say  that  so  far  as  I  was  able  to  test 
this  information  by  personal  observations,  I  found  it  generally  quite 
correct,  their  great  desire  being  not  to  exaggerate,  but  simply  to  get  the 
facts  in  regard  to  their  section  of  country  before  the  world.  I  would  be 
glad  to  mention  the  names  of  those  who  took  special  pains  to  assist  me, 
but  as  I  cannot  mention  all  I  hesitate  to  mention  any,  but  I  cannot 
refrain  from  naming  Governor  Potts,  Colonel  Wheeler,  marshal  of  the 
district.  Colonel  Sanders,  the  editors  of  the  papers  of  Helena  and  Deer 
Lodge,  Major  Forbes,  Mr.  Granville  Stuart,  and  others,  some  of  whom 
are  mentioned  in  my  report. 

From  Montana  I  returned  to  Corinne,  in  Utah,  with  Professor  Allen, 
who  had  joined  me  at  Helena.  From  Corinne  I  proceeded  to  California, 
in  order  to  see  what  progress  ha.d  been  made  here  in  the  method  of  irrir 
gating  lands.  I  desired  especially  to  learn  what  was  being  done  in  the 
way  of  lifting  water.  A  visit  to  the  suburbs  of  Sacramento,  Oakland, 
and  San  Francisco  soon  gave  me  all  the  information  on  the  subject  thab 
was  to  be  obtained,  as  no  statistics  in  regard  to  this  important  horti- 
cultural agency  appear  to  have  been  collected.  The  wind-mill  appears 
to  be  nearly  the  only  power  used  for  the  purpose  of  lifting  water,  and 
as  the  quantity  raised  by  each  is  small  it  is  apparent  that  these  cannot 
be  profitably  used  for  field  crops,  especially  where  they  compete  with 
the  products  of  rain-moistened  regions.  But  as  auxiliaries  to  horticul- 
ture they  are  valuable,  wherever  the  water  is  to  be  found  in  quantity  at 
a  short  distance  from  the  surface ;  and  there  are  probably  many  ijoints  in 
the  Territories  into  which  your  survey  has  extended  where  they  could 
be  used  with  profit.  1  ajipend  a  short  account  of  San  Jos6  Valley,  fur- 
nished by  Professor  Allen,  as  it  contains  some  very  interesting  matter. 
Although  California  is  justly  celebrated  for  its  fruits,  wheat,  &c.,  yet  I 
was  quite  disappointed  at  the  appearance  of  the  agricultural  districts 
visited,  though  this  was  owing  in  part  to  the  very  dry  season ;  but  I  am 
convinced  that  the  agricultural  resources  of  this  great  State  will  never 
be  properly  develoj)ed  until  a  more  thorough  system  of  irrigation  is 
adopted.  Although  the  annual  rain-fall  is  considerable,  yet  it  is  not 
distributed  through  the  growing  season  in  such  a  manner  as  to  do  away 
with  the  necessity  for  irrigation. 

I  was  surprised  to  learn  no  hard  wood  fit  for  wheelwright  purposes, 
and  agricultural  and  other  machinery,  was  to  be  found  on  the  Pacific 
coast.  Visiting  the  wagon  and  other  shoi)s  in  San  Francisco  where 
hard  wood  is  used,  to  ascertain  where  they  i)rocured  it,  I  was  surprised 
to  learn  that  this  is  brought  from  the  Atlantic  States.  I  subsequently 
found  the  same  fact  mentioned  in  the  report  of  the  president  of  the 
State  board  of  agriculture  of  California  for  1868-'09.  I  had  ascertained 
this  was  the  fact  in  regard  to  the  Territories  of  the  Eocky  Mountain 
region,  but  was  not  aware  before  that  it  was  the  case  in  regard  to  the 
Pacific  coast.  It  may  perhaps,  without  exaggeration,  be  said  that 
proper  timber  for  a  wagon  cannot  be  found  in  the  United  States  west 
of  the  one  hundredth  meridian.  As  this  places  the  States  and  Territo- 
ries of  the  Pacific  slope  under  considerable  disadvantage  in  this  respect, 
it  seems  to  me  that  the  General  Government  ought  to  take  some  steps 
to  remedy  the  defect  as  far  as  possible.  Hard  wood  will  grow  in  these 
sections,  as  is  evident  from  the  experiments  made,  but  it  will  probably 
be  valueless  for  the  purposes  mentioned  unless  freely  watered  by  irriga- 
tion. Would  it  not  be  well  to  establish  in  California  an  experimental 
farm  and  garden  under  the  Agricultural  Department?    The  conditions 


of  climate,  soil,  humidity,  &c.,  in  that  entire  region  are  so  different 
from  that  of  the  Atlantic  coast,  that  experiments  in  the  latter  section 
have  no  applicability  to  the  former.  The  one  is  oriental,  the  other  occi- 
dental, although  reversed  in  position. 

As  I  have,  in  a  former  report,  given  a  short  account  of  the  arable 
areas  of  Utah,  I  have  devoted  a  part  of  the  present  to  the  consideration 
oi'  the  ]Dhysical  features  of  the  Salt  Lake  Basin,  so  far  as  these  have 
any  bearing  upon  the  agricultural  resources  of  this  very  interesting 
region.  I  have  added  a  more  minute  account  of  that  portion  of  i^orth- 
ern  Utah  over  which  the  exj)edition  passed  the  present  season,  and  which 
I  visited  in  person.  I  have  jprefixed  a  general  outline  or  review  of  the 
geographical  features  of  those  portions  of  the  Eocky  Mountain  regions 
which  have  been  visited  by  the  exploring  party  under  your  charge 
during  the  past  three  years.  It  would  have  been  more  systematic  to 
have  placed  this  at  the  end,  but  I  preferred  the  other  jDlan,  as  many 
persons  desire  to  know  the  conclusions  reached  without  having  to  read 
the  details. 

You  will  find,  accompanying  this  report,  a  continuation  of  my  investi- 
gations of  the  western  Orthoptera.  A  number  of  new  species — some 
twenty-eight  or  thirty — were  obtained,  and  have  been  described,  among 
them  some  of  considerable  interest,  adding  two  genera  hitherto  un- 
known to  the  insect  fauna  of  the  United  States. 

I  feel  it  to  be  a  duty  to  report  to  you  in  a  special  maimer  the  accom- 
modations received  from  the  various  stage-lines  running  from  Bozeman 
and  Virginia  City  to  Helena ;  thence  to  Deer  Lodge ;  aaid  thence  to 
Corinne.  Over  all  these  Professor  Allen  and  myself  were  passed  with- 
out charge,  and  treated  with  great  respect  and  kindness  by  all  the  offi- 
cers and  employes.  To  the  Central  Pacific,  Union  Pacific,  Denver  Pa- 
cific, and  Kansas  Pacific  Eailroads  we  are  under  many  obligations  for 
passes  for  one  or  both  of  us  over  these  roads ;  and  also  to  the  officers 
and  employes  for  the  many  acts  of  accommodation  extended  to  us,  by 
which  delay  was  i^revented.  I  have  appended  a  short  report  of  some  of 
the  valleys  of  ISTevada,  drawn  up  by  Mr.  D.  H.  Harkey,  of  Eeno,  pro- 
cured for  me  by  the  kindness  of  Mr.  Meecham  and  his  partner,  of  Hum- 
boldt, Nevada.  It  is  to  be  hoped  that  by  another  year  a  more  complete 
account  of  this  intermontane  State  will  be  obtained.  I  believe  that  Mr. 
Harkey  is  now  at  work  upon  this  subject,  which  will  probably  be  fur- 
nished you  when  completed. 

I  had  expected  a  short  account  of  the  lands  along  the  Union  Pacific 
Eailroad  in  the  western  part  of  Nebraska,  as  there  is  much  inquiry  in 
regard  to  these  various  sections. 

It  is  an  interesting  fact  that  those  sections  of  the  West  which  have 
been  described  in  your  reports  have  received,  during  the  past  year,  the 
greater  portion  of  the  emigration  that  crossed  the  i)lains.  While  this 
has,  no  doubt,  been  owing  to  a  number  of  causes,  yet  we  are  justified  in 
believing  that  your  efforts  and  investigations  have  helped  to  bring  about 
this  result,  and  that  in  this  fact  you  have  an  evidence  of  the  ap]3recia- 
tion  of  your  labors. 

I  take  pleasure  in  returning  my  thanks  to  all  those  persons  who  have 
so  kindly  assisted  me  in  my  work,  and  though  the  names  of  but  few 
have  been  mentioned,  I  feel  myself  under  equal  obligations  to  those 
whose  names  are  not  mentioned.  , 

I  remain,  yours,  very  respectfully, 


Professor  F.  Y.  Hayden. 
14  G  S 





The  geographical  features  of  a  country  are  so  intimately  connected 
with  its  agricultural  resources,  that  an  inquiry  into  the  latter  necessarily 
involves  an  examination  of  the  former.  The  size  and  character  of  its 
mountains  and  valleys,  extent  of  its  plains,  and  size  and  number  of  its 
rivers  and  lakes,  are  all  items  which  must  be  considered  if  we  would 
make  our  investigations  complete.  So  far  as  I  have  noticed  these  in 
describing  the  separate  sections,  I  will  not  repeat  them  further  than  to 
generalize  these  more  minute  descriptions.  And  it  is  proper  for  me  to 
state  here  that  I  shall  confine  this  review  almost  wholly  to  those  Terri- 
tories and  regions  visited  in  person ;  not  that  each  locality  alluded  to 
has  been  examined  personally,  but  that  I  have  visited  the  section  and 
learned  from  personal  observation  its  leading  external  features. 

The  boundaries  of  the  political  divisions,  and  even  the  outlines  of  the 
more  important  natural  areas,  can  so  easily  be  determined  from  the  maps, 
that  I  shall  omit  allusion  to  them,  except  where  I  may  have  occasion  to 
do  so  for  the  purpose  of  explanation. 


Passing  over  the  broad  plains  which  spread  out  westward  from  the 
Missouri  River,  the  first  objects  to  attract  our  attention  are  the  mount- 
ains. We  enter  upon  our  western  journey  with  a  desire  to  see  them, 
and  the  long  monotonous  ride  across  this  broad  expanse,  even  though 
sweeping  along  at  railroad  speed,  intensifies  that  desire.  And  when  Ave 
first  catch  a  glimpse  of  some  lofty  peak  or  range,  especially  if  it  has  a 
crown  of  snow  upon  its  summit,  glittering  in  the  bright  sunshine  of  that 
limpid  atmosphere,  all  other  objects  for  the  time  are  forgotten,  ^o  matter 
whether  we  are  enthusiastic  admireis  of  nature's  works  or  not,  the  sim- 
ple fact  that  we  are  gazing  upon  the  snowy  summit  of  the  great  Eocky 
Mountain  Eange  has  in  it  a  charm  that,  for  the  first  time,  at  least,  ar- 
rests the  attention  even  of  the  giddy  youth  and  suffering  invalid.  This 
first  impression  fixes  itself  so  indelibly  upon  the  mind  that  no  matter 
how  often  we  may  visit  this  region,  how  various  our  duties  may  be,  and 
how  intensely  we  are  devoted  to  them,  yet  after  we  have  returned,  often 
as  our  minds  revert  to  that  section,  the  mountains  will  stand  in  the  fore- 
ground. ISTor  is  this  strange,  for  they  constitute  the  leading  and  promi- 
nent geographical  feature  of  the  great  West.  Aside  from  their  exceed- 
ingly important  geological  and  miueralogical  characters,  which  Professor 
Hayden  and  other  geologists  are  presenting  to  the  public,  they  also  ex- 
hibit external  features  which  have  important  bearings  upon  that  depart- 
ment which  has  been  assigned  to  me  for  investigation,  and  this  is  more 
especially  true  iu  this  section  of  the  country  where  the  rain  precii)itation 
is  so  small  and  irrigation  so  universally  necessary.  From  these  comes 
the  supply  of  water  for  irrigation;  these  are  the  great  reservoirs  upon 
which  the  hopes  of  the  agriculturist  depend.  As  the  heat  of  summer 
appryaches  and  the  rays  of  the  sun  pour  down  upon  his  fields,  he  watches 
day  by  day  with  anxious  eyes  the  rapidly  melting  patches  of  snow  that 
lie  upon  the  crest  of  the  neighboring  mountain ;  for,  unless  his  ditches 
are  fed  by  one  of  the  larger  perennial  streams,  he  knows  that  upon  the 
rivulets  which  flow  from  those  crystal  banks  depend  the  life  of  his  crop 


and  the  supply  of  food  for  himself  and  family.  He  is  well  aware  that 
soon  after  they  have  disappeared,  the  little  rills  will  cease  to  flow,  his 
ditches  become  dry,  and  his  crops,  unless  jpreviously  matured,  become 
parched  and  withered  under  the  influence  of  the  sun  and  this  remark- 
ably dry  atmosphere.  Hence  the  snows  of  winter,  when  heavy  in  the 
mountains,  instead  of  being  looked  upon  as  misfortunes,  are  hailed  as 
the  sure  harbingers  of  a  plenteous  harvest  the  following  seasons.  I 
have  more  than  once  heard  the  remark  made  by  those  who  have  long 
resided  in  that  country,  "It  would  be  better  for  us  if  we  had  more  snow ;" 
and  I  am  inclined  to  think  the  statement  true.  A  hasty  trip  across  the 
great  mountain  belt  on  one  line  will  doubtless  give  to  the  casual  ob- 
server the  impression  that  there  is  a  general  sameness  throughout. 
The  broken  crests  and  peaks  of  the  eastern  range  and  rugged  forest- 
crowned  Sierra  will  doubtless  be  contrasted  with  the  broad  inter- 
vening waste  of  ridges,  valleys,  and  i^lains,  but  will  scarcely  do  away 
with  the  impression  of  monotonous  uniformity.  But  a  closer  study  of 
these  vast  monuments  of  nature's  building  will  show  us  new  forms,  va- 
rying features,  and  different  characters  at  every  step. 

Instead  of  being  arranged  in  continuous  ridges,  as  was  for  a  long 
time  supposed,  this  immense  belt  is  broken  and  irregular,  at  one  point 
grouping  its  loftiest  peaks  and  ridges  in  a  compact  mass,  while  at 
another  isolated  ranges  have  wide  wastes  lying  between  them.  The 
water  divide  between  the  Atlantic  and  Pacific  slopes,  in  some  places 
being  the  crest  of  the  loftiest  ridge,  running  a  tortuous  course,  winding 
right  and  left,  yet  with  a  general  northwest  and  southeast  direction,  at 
other  points  it  is  an  undetinable  line  on  a  broad  and  apparently  level 
artemisia  plain. 

The  mountain  region  reaches  from  the  eastern  slope  that  descends  to 
the  great  plains  to  the  Sierra  Nevada ;  but  the  true  Rocky  Mountain 
belt,  although  vast  in  its  proportions,  is  much  more  limited,  extending, 
in  the  latitude  of  Colorado  and  Southern  Wyoming,  from  the  eastern 
flank  to  the  Wahsatch  Eange,  a  distance,  direct,  of  some  three  hundred 
and  fifty  miles.  Here,  in  the  western  half  of  Colorado,  eastern  part  of 
Utah,  and  southern  border  of  Wyoming,  is  the  heaviest  mountain  mass 
in  the  Union.  Extending  east  and  west  from  one  hundred  and  fifth  to 
one  hundred  and  twelfth  meridians,  and  north  and  south  from  the 
thirty-seventh  to  the  forty-first  parallels,  it  covers  a  quadrangular  area 
of  nearly  one  hundred  thousand  square  miles.  Within  these  bounds  are 
collected  a  large  number  of  the  highest  peaks  and  ridges  of  the  entire 
Eocky  Mountain  belt.  It  is  split  into  two  parts  by  the  valley  of  Green 
Eiver,  which  traverses  the  entire  area  from  north  to  south  near  the  one 
hundred  and  tenth  meridian,  the  eastern  moiety  containing  the  heaviest 

From  the  southern  boundary  of  Wyoming  to  the  southern  boundary 
of  Colorado,  the  eastern  range,  which  lies  principally  between  the  one 
hundred  and  fifth  and  one  hundred  and  seventh  meridians,  is  exceed- 
ingly rugged,  broken  up  into  sharp  peaks  and  tortuous  ridges.  On  the 
eastern  slope  it  is  composed  of  an  irregular  series  of  ridges,  leaning  one 
against  the  other  in  ascending  order  toward  the  west;  these  at  a  few 
points  separating,  so  as  to  leave  large  depressed  areas,  as  the  parks. 
Upper  Arkansas  Valley,  &c.  This  form,  connected  with  the  great  eleva- 
tion of  this  entire  mountain  area,  has  a  very  important  bearing  upon 
the  agricultural  resources  of  the  plains  and  valleys  at  the  eastern  base, 
as  it  affords  immense  reservoirs  for  the  accumulation  of  winter  snows, 
from  which  the  streams  can  draw  a  suijply  of  water.  Hence,  most  of  the 
streams  which  take  their  rise  in  this  range  are  perennial,  affording  an 


abiindauce  of  water  for  a  broad  strip  of  land  along  the  eastern  flank 
of  the  range.  Not  only  are  they  rugged  in  general  outline,  but  also  in 
minute  detail,  being  exceedingly  rocky  and  jagged,  except  in  some  of 
the  parks  and  larger  depressions,  where  the  local  drift  has  rounded  the 
lower  hills.  As  a  general  thing,  they  are  covered  with  heavy  forests  of 
pine  and  fir,  except  where  the  altitude  exceeds  the  line  of  arborescent 
vegetation.  I  would  call  special  attention  here  to  this  fact,  as  I  wish 
to  allude  to  it  hereafter — the  connection  between  the  rugged,  rocky  sur- 
face and  forest  growth.  In  the  parks  and  other  spots  where  there  are 
heavy  deposits  of  drift,  evidently  brought  down  from  the  surrounding 
heights,  as  a  general  thing  there  are  no  forests,  occasional  groves  of 
stunted  cedars  or  i)iiions  being  the  chief  exceptions. 

Along  the  east  base,  after  passing  Box  Elder  Creek,  going  south, 
long  straight-lined  foot-hills  are  often  to  be  seen  shooting  out  from  the 
mountain  side,  their  tops  fiat  and  almost  or  quite  level.  They  are  gen- 
erally very  smooth,  without  forest  growth,  but  grassed  over  as  evenly 
as  a  mown  meadow.  These  singular  formations  constitute  a  very  re- 
markable feature  of  this  section,  and  give  a  peculiar  charm  to  the  land- 
scape. An  occasional  "mesa"  or  squarely  truncated  hill  can  be  seen 
here,  but  these  are  more  characteristic  of  the  country  farther  south. 

As  we  approach  the  borders  of  Kew  Mexico  the  mountains  gradually 
diminish  in  height,  the  mass  separating  into  more  regularly  continuous 
ranges ;  the  naked  crests  of  the  higher  ridges  often  sharply  serrated. 
The  sides,  though  rocky  and  deeply  and  sharply  furrowed,  are  hardly 
so  rugged  as  farther  north.  As  might  be  inferred  from  these  character- 
istics, the  accumulations  of  snow  are  less  extensive,  the  water  more 
rapidly  carried  ofl",  and  the  streams  less  permanent  than  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  mountains  farther  north  in  Colorado. 

The  Eaton  Mountains,  which  run  east  from  the  main  range,  near  the 
dividing  line  between  the  two  Territories,  form  a  rather  singular  excep- 
tion to  the  general  direction  of  the  eastern  ranges.  In  their  external 
features  they  are  much  like  the  mountains  with  which  they  connect  in 
some  respects,  while  in  others  they  remind  us  more  of  some  of  the 
mountains  in  Southeastern  Kentucky.  They  are  tolerably  well  timbered, 
much  of  it  being  of  a  very  fine  quality.  They  give  rise  to  the  Purga- 
tory and  Cimarron  Elvers. 

Passing  over  this  range  to  the  south  side,  one  of  the  most  striking- 
features  of  the  landscape  is  the  large  number  of  isolated  "mesas." 
These  singular  elevations,  in  the  form  of  truncated  cones  or  pyramids, 
with  flat  and  horizontal  tops  and  sharp  outlines,  rise  up  from  the  level 
plains,  or  from  the  surface  of  a  broad  valley,  and  almost  invariably 
without  any  lateral  connection  with  any  other  elevated  ground.  In  ex- 
tent they  are  widely  different,  some  iiresenting  a  table  surface  of  but  a 
few  acres,  while  others  have  nearly  as  many  square  miles.  It  is  evident 
that  these  are  beyond  the  reach  of  irrigation,  from  any  natural  reser- 
voirs or  streams,  their  only  value  being  as  grazing  fields. 

This  eastern  mountain  group  appears  to  have  two  culminating  points 
or  radiating  centers ;  the  northern,  and  principal  one,  lies  immediately 
around  the  JSTorth  and  Middle  Parks,  and  forms  the  rim  of  these  elevated 
basins ;  the  other  lies  immediately  southwest  of  South  Park.  In  the 
first  of  these,  Blue  Eiver,  White  Eiver,  Bear  Eiver,*  North  Platte,  and 
a  number  of  the  tributaries  of  South  Platte,  take  their  rise.  In  the 
other.  Grand  Eiver,  the  Eio  Grande,  Arkansas,  and  main  branch  of  the 
South  Platte  have  their  sources.    The  parks  act  as  huge  cisterns  for  the 

*  This  is  not  the  Boar  Eiver  of  Salt  Lake  Basin,  but  connects  with  Green  Eiver. 


reception  of  tlie  numerous  little  mountain  rivulets  that  flow  down  from 
the  surrounding  rim,  collecting  them  together  and  discharging  them  at 
one  outlet.  Thus  the  North  Park  collects  the  various  streams  which 
form  the  IsTorth  Platte ;  the  Middle  Park,  those  that  form  Blue  Eiver ; 
South  Park,  those  to  form  the  South  Platte ;  the  San  Luis  Park,  those 
to  form  the  Eio  Grande ;  and  the  Upper  Arkansas  Yalley,  which  is  a 
true  park,  those  to  form  the  Arkansas  Eiver.  Here,  then,  we  see  that 
five  of  the  great  rivers  of  this  vast  central  region  have  their  sources 
close  together  in  this  mountain  area.  Upon  the  peaks,  ranges,  parks, 
and  forests  embraced  between  the  one  hundred  and  fifth  and  one  hun- 
dred and  seventh  meridians  and  thirty-eighth  and  forty -first  parallels, 
an  area  not  exceeding  eighteen  thousand  square  miles,  depend,  in  a 
great  measure,  the  agricultural  resources  of  an  area  of  more  than  one 
hundred  thousand  square  miles. 

Before  passing  over  to  the  west  side  of  the  section  under  consideration, 
I  would  call  attention  to  the  Black  Hills,  (or  Laramie  Eange,)  of  Wyo- 
ming, which  seems  to  be  the  real  northern  extension  of  the  Colorado 
Eange,  but  the  continuity  is  somewhat  broken  at  the  gorge  of  the  Cache- 
a-la-Poudre,  and  it  takes  the  form  of  a  huge  appendage,  like  the  claw 
of  a  crab.  Circling  round  the  eastern  and  northern  portions  of  the  great 
Laramie  Park,  it  acts  as  a  bracing  wall  to  this  vast  elevated  plain, 
whose  surface  is  fully  1,500  feet  above  the  plains  at  the  eastern  base. 
Its  external,  or  eastern  slope,  presenting  a  much  longer  descent  than  its 
inner  or  western  face,  differs  considerably  in  character  from  the  latter; 
while  the  latter,  at  least  as  far  north  as  the  gorge  of  the  Laramie  Eiver, 
presents  comparatively  smooth  and  rounded  surfaces,  the  former  is  rugged, 
and,  especially  along  the  northern  part,  deeply  gashed  by  rough  and  rocky 
caiions.  The  intervening  ridges  are  quite  rugged  up  in  the  mountain 
near  their  origin,  but  as  they  descend  to  the  plain  they  gradually  lose 
their  rough  character,  and  grow  smoother  and  rounder,  and,  seen  trans- 
versely, present  a  succession  of  rounded  foot-hills,  which  appear  like  the 
waves  of  the  sea.  The  eastern  flank  and  summit  are  tolerably  well 
wooded,  and  the  northern  portion  appears  to  have  a  timber  growth  pretty 
generally  distributed  over  it,  but  interrupted  by  numerous  open,  field- 
like spaces.  Numerous  small  streams  that  form  tributaries  to  the  North 
Platte  have  their  origin  on  the  eastern  slope,  while  on  the  west  but  one 
or  two  have  their  sources  in  this  range. 

Between  the  eastern  and  western  portions  of  this  mountain  group 
intervenes  a  broad  but  irregular  depression,  forming  the  Green  Eiver 
basin.  The  broad,  elevated  plain,  formerly  called  the  Colorado  Desert, 
which  stretches  north  and  south  from  the  Wind  Eiver  Eange  to  the  Uintah. 
Mountains,  and  east  and  west  from  the  Wahsatch  Eange  to  the  imper- 
ceptible divide,  separating  it  from  Laramie  Plains,  forms  the  upper  por- 
tion. Having  a  gentle  southern  slope,  and  inclination  to  a  central 
channel,  it  collects  the  waters,  which  once  evidently  formed  an  immense 
lake,  against  the  mountain  barrier  at  the  south  margin,  of  which  an 
account  will  be  found  in  Professor  Hayden's  report  for  1870.  Having, 
in  the  geological  ijast,  burst  through  this  barrier,  a  tortuous  channel 
has  been  formed  for  the  waters,  by  which  they  connect  with  the  Colo- 
rado Eiver  and  its  vast  water  system  farther  south,  receiving  large 
contributions  from  right  and  left  in  its  passage. 

Shooting  out  from  the  Wahsatch  Eange  on  the  west,  the  Uintah  Mount- 
ains stretch  directly  eastward,  forming  the  southern  wall  to  the  upper 
portion  of  this  basin,  forcing  Green  Eiver,  in  making  its  exit  from  the 
northern  plains,  to  bend  eastward  in  order  to  flank  them.  This  range, 
which  has  a  direction  the  reverse  of  the  general  course  of  the  mountains 


of  this  region,  possesses  features  peculiar  to  itself.  Although  risiBg 
at  ijoints,  as  will  be  seen  from  Professor  Hayden's  report,  to  a  height 
of  12,000  and  even  13,500  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  shooting  up 
sharp  and  lofty  peaks  above  the  limit  of  arborescent  vegetation,  yet 
it  possesses,  to  a  greater  or  less  degree,  that  peculiar  evidence  of  the 
remarkable  effects  of  erosion  seen  in  the  lower  ridges  in  this  section. 
But  the  description  of  this  interesting  region  by  Professor  Hayden  is 
so  full  that  it  is  unnecessary  for  me  to  add  more  than  that  here  is 
found  a  heavy  forest  growth  of  excellent  pine  timber,  which  on  account 
of  its  proximity  to  the  Union  Pacific  Eailroad  will  probably,  at  no  very 
distant  day,  prove  a  source  of  wealth  to  this  region. 

Passing  a  little  farther  westward,  we  encountered  the  great  Wahsatch 
Eange,  which,  stretching  north  and  south  for  four  hundred  miles,  forms 
the  vast  terrace  above  the  Great  Salt  Lake  Basin.  To  understand  the 
relation  that  this  range  bears  to  the  eastern  range  running  through 
Colorado  and  Wyoming,  we  must  bear  in  mind  the  fact  that  from  Salt 
Lake  to  Cheyenne  there  is  one  great  mountain  which  has  been  lifted  in 
the  air  an  average  height  of  7,000  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  and 
between  2,000  and  3,000  feet  above  the  mass  of  debris  piled  against  its 
flanks.  Its  broad  summit  formed  of  the  plains,  hills,  ridges,  and  peaks 
which  intervene,  these  ranges  are  its  flanking  walls,  forming  the  eastern 
and  western  escarpments.  The  Wahsatch  Eange,  though  rugged  and 
rocky,  does  not,  at  least  on  its  western  slope,  ijossess  the  jagged  char- 
acter to  such  a  high  degree  as  the  Colorado  Mountains,  but,  on  the  con- 
trary, is  sharply  indeuted  and  furrowed,  much  like  the  Sierra  Blanco 
Mountains  which  surround  San  Luis  P^rk  on  the  northeast.  The  west- 
ern slope,  especially  from  Ogden  to  the  south  end  of  Utah  Lake,  instead 
of  sloping  down  regularly  to  the  surface  of  the  basin,  seems  to  plunge 
down  through  the  debris  which  presses  against  it  as  the  cliff"  plunges 
down  into  the  waters  of  the  ocean  which  lave  its  side.  There  is  here 
but  one  culminating  xJoint,  which  acts  as  the  radiating  center  for  the 
water  systems  of  the  region.  This  is  at  the  place  where  the  Uintah 
Mountains  connect  with  the  Wahsatch  Eange,  almost  immediately  at  the 
southwest  angle  of  Wyoming  Territory,  but  situated  in  Utah.  Here 
White,  Uintah,  Bear,  Weber,  and  Provo  Elvers  have  their  origin,  the  first 
two  connecting  with  Green  Eiver  and  the  others  entering  the  Salt  Lake 
Basin  at  different  points. 

Moving  northward  across  the  broad,  open  space  occupied  by  the  Green 
Eiver  Plains  and  Laramie  Plains,  the  one  lying  on  the  Atlantic  and  the 
other  on  the  Pacific  slope,  connected  by  an  imperceptible  divide,  we  en- 
counter another  striking  feature,  varying  the  apparent  monotony  of 
this  mountain  region.  I  say  "  apparent  monotony,"  for,  in  reality,  the 
scenery  is  constantly  changing  at  every  step  to  the  ardent  student  of 
nature.  Stretching  east  and  west  from  the  north  end  of  the  Black 
Hills  of  Wyoming  to  the  south  end  of  the  Wind  Eiver  Eange  is  a  series 
of  remarkable  granite  hills  skirting  the  valley  of  the  Sweetwater.  These 
have  much  the  appearance  of  the  sharp  pealts  and  crests  of  a  submerged 
range,  which,  shooting  up  through  the  sea  of  sand,  mark  its  course. 
So  striking  is  this  appearance  that  even  the  most  casual  observers 
almost  involuntarily  make  the  comparison. 

From  this  jioint  northward  the  range  (by  this  I  intend  the  entire  belt) 
contracts  and  changes  its  direction.  From  the  thirty-seventh  to  the  forty- 
third  parallels  its  course  is  almost  directly  north,  and  extending  in  width 
from  the  one  hundred  and  fifth  to  the  one  hundred  and  twelfth  meridians, 
an  air -line  distance  of  about  three  hundred  and  fifty  miles.  Here  it  bends 
northwest,  making  an  angle  with  its  former  course  of  some  twenty  or 


twenty-five  degrees,  and,  the  eastern  flank  diverging  a  little  more  rap- 
idly tiian  the  western  flank,  the  two  approach,  narrowing  the  width  of 
the  belt  toward  the  north.  While  this  is  true  as  a  general  statement, 
it  must  not  be  supposed  that  in  attempting  to  follow  it  out  in  detail 
we  shall  find  any  great  uniformity,  for  we  shall  proceed  but  a  comjiara- 
tively  short  distance  up  the  western  flank  until  we  encounter  the  rugged 
Salmon  Eiver  Mountains,  pressing  against  the  belt  at  its  narrowest 
point  like  a  huge  goiter  upon  the  neck.  But  the  most  interesting  group 
within  this  part  of  the  belt  is  to  be  found  in  the  northwestern  part  of 
Wyoming,  which  has  been  the  objective  point  of  the  present  year's  expe- 
dition, and  of  which  a  very  full  and  deeply  interesting  account  will  be 
found  in  Professor  Hayden's  report  of  the  present  year,  and  to  which 
this  report  forms  an  appendage.  I  shall,  therefore,  "refer  to  it  only  so 
far  as  its  features  bear  upon  the  agricultural  resources  of  the  surround- 
ing regions ;  and,  moreover,  although  xDassing  closely  around  the  west- 
ern and  northwestern  flanks,  and  crossing  the  axial  range  at  its  western 
exit,  I  did  not  in  person  visit  the  magnificent  scenery  immediately  sur- 
rounding Yellowstone  Lake,  which  lies  near  the  central  point  of  the 

The  northern  limb  of  the  Wahsatch  Eange,  separating  the  waters  of 
Green  Eiver  from  those  of  Bear  and  Snake  Elvers,  penetrates  northward 
near  the  western  border  of  Wyoming  Territory.  Wind  Eiver  Eange, 
stretching  northwest  from  South  Pass,  rising  in  altitude  as  it  advances 
until  it  culminates  in  Fremont's  Peak,  forms  the  divide  here  between 
the  waters  of  the  Atlantic  and  Pacific,  represented  by  Green  and  Wind 
Elvers.  The  west  branch  of  the  Big  Horn  Mountains,  reaching  across 
the  Wind  Eiver  Valley,  leaving  a  deep  gorge  for  the  passage  of  this 
stream,  directs  its  course  toward  the  same  central  point;  and  the  main 
Bocky  Mountain  Eange  from  the  north  here  bends  its  course  eastward 
to  connect  with  the  others  at  the  great  point  of  union.  In  other  words, 
here  is  the  culminating  point  of  the  great  northwestern  mountain  belt, 
from  which  radiate  not  only  its  chief  mountain  ranges,  but  also,  as  a 
natural  consequence,  the  principal  streams  of  the  section.  The  Big 
Horn,  Yellowstone,  Madison,  Green,  and  Snake  Elvers  all  have  their 
origin  here,  the  first  three  finding  an  outlet  for  their  waters  through 
the  Mississippi  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  the  next  through  the  Colorado 
of  the  West  to  the  Gulf  of  California,  and  the  last  through  the  Columbia 
to  the  Pacific  Ocean,  three  thousand  miles  from  the  exit  of  the  first. 
Here,  amid  a  collection  of  the  most  wonderful  scenery  on  the  continent, 
is  found  the  chief  radiating  point  of  the  water-systems  of  the  Northwest, 
being  equaled  in  this  respect  only  by  the  mountain  group  of  Colorado 
Territory.  A  result  naturally  to  be  expected  from  this  formation  fol- 
lows, viz,  an  abundant  supply  of  never-failing  streams.  It  is  also  inter- 
esting, on  account  of  the  influence  it  has  upon  the  course  of  the  minor 
streams,  to  notice  the  obstinate  tendency  of  the  minor  ranges  to  main- 
tain the  north  and  south  direction  so  common  in  Territories  south  and 
in  the  Salt  Lake  Basin.  The  Teton  Eange,  between  Henry's  Fork  and 
the  main  branch  of  Snake  Eiver,  the  northern  arm  of  the  Wahsatch, 
the  main  range  of  the  Big  Horn  Mountains,  between  the  waters  of 
Big  Horn  and  Powder  Elvers,  and  even  the  ridge  separating  the  two 
branches  of  the  latter  stream,  though  varying  much  in  character,  all 
have  this  course  almost  direct.  If  we  pass  north  of  the  group  into  the 
southern  part  of  Montana,  we  find  this  holds  good  with  respect  to  the 
ridges  which  separate  the  tributaries  of  the  Upper  Missouri.  The 
divides  between  Stinking  Water  and  the  Madison,  between  Madison 
and  Gallatin,  and  between  Gallatin  and  the  Yellowstone,  all  preserve 


the  same  north  and  south  direction,  notwithstanding  the  remarkable 
and  enormous  flexure  of  the  great  dividing  range  of  the  Rocky  Moun- 
tains. Nor  does  this  stop  here;  for  if  we  cross  the  divide  again  and 
enter  the  basin  of  Clark's  Fork  of  the  Columbia,  we  find  the  same 
thing  there  on  a  reduced  scale,  the  ridges  which  separate  the  southern 
tributaries  of  the  Hell  Gate,  with  no  considerable  exception,  following 
the  same  rule. 

In  consequence  of  this  general  direction  of  the  minor  ranges  and 
ridges,  the  smaller  streams  have  generally  a  north  or  south  course, 
while  the  larger  streams,  to  which  they  form  tributaries,  with  one  chief 
exception,  Green  River,  run  eastward  or  westward.  For  example :  Poav- 
der,  Tongue,  and  Big  Horn  Rivers ;  Yellowstone  and  Missouri,  above 
their  bends ;  Clark's  Fork  of  Yellowstone,  Gallatin,  Madison,  Stinking 
Water,  and  Beaverhead  Rivers,  on  the  Atlantic  slope;  and  Deer  Lodge 
River,  Flint  and  Stony  Creeks,  and  Bitter- Root  River,  on  the  Pacific 
slope,  all  run  north ;  while  Green  River,  the  upper  part  of  Snake  River, 
and  Henry's  Fork  run  almost  directly  south.  I  might  add  to  this  list, 
but  these  are  sufficient  to  show  that  there  is  some  great  law  which  gov- 
erns their  direction,  or  that  there  is  a  remarkable  uniformity. 

The  direction  and  character  of  the  mountains  in  the  northwest  part 
of  Montana  are  hereafter  alluded  to,  and  it  is  therefore  unnecessary  to 
state  them  here. 

I  have  not  visited  the  Salmon  River  Mountains,  and  therefore  have 
no  very  correct  idea  as  to  their  character,  but  understand  that  they  are 
quite  rugged  and  irregular.  They  give  rise  to  but  one  important  stream, 
the  Salmon  River.  And  I  may  add  here  that  an  inspection  of  the  best 
maps  of  this  but  little- known  section  shows  that  here  the  same  tendency 
of  the  minor  ranges  to  maintain  the  north  and  south  direction  prevails, 
in  consequence  of  which  the  upper  portion  of  the  river,  and  a  number 
of  its  tributaries,  run  north ;  and  Snake  River,  for  two  hundred  miles  of 
its  passage  through  this  latitude,  has  the  same  direction. 

This  is  but  an  imperfect  sketch  of  the  mountain  character  of  this 
great  elevated  region,  which,  in  many  respects,  presents  more  of  the 
oriental  than  of  the  occidental  features.  If  we  could  stand  at  the  extreme 
southern  end,  and,  looking  north,  take  in  at  one  view  the  entire  reach 
from  the  Missouri  River  to  the  Pacific  Ocean,  it  would,  between  the 
thirty-seventh  and  forty-fourth  parallels  of  latitude,  present  the  following 
outlines :  From  the  Missouri  west,  for  four  hundred  miles,*  we  should 
see  an  inclined  plane  gradually  ascending  from  900  feet  at  its  eastern 
limit,  to  5,000,  above  the  sea  near  its  western  extremity;  slightly 
curving  upward,  making  the  ascent  a  little  more  rapid  in  this  part. 
Here  we  would  see  a  rugged  wall  shooting  from  3,000  to  5,000  feet 
higher,  while  west  of  it,  for  three  hundred  and  fifty  miles  farther, 
would  be  seen  an  irregular  surface,  slightly  depressed  in  the  middle, 
but  having  a  general  level  of  2,000  feet  above  the  inclined  plain  east. 
At  the  western  border  we  should  observe  another  rugged  wall  rising 
one  or  two  thousand  feet,  and  descending,  on  its  west  flank,  2,000  feet 
below  the  surface  east  of  it.  West  from  here  we  would  observe  the  line 
preserving  this  level  for  some  distance,  then  curving  upward  somewhat 
rapidly,  until  it  reached  an  elevation  of  6,500  feet  above  the  sea,  would 
gradually  descend  a  little  below  the  line,  immediately  west  of  the  last 
wall.  Here  we  should  see  another  wall  rising  up  to  a  height  of  8,000 
feet  above  the  sea,  from  which  the  line,  at  first  curving  rapidly  down- 
ward, would  descend  to  the  level  of  the  Pacific  Ocean. 

*  I  limit  these  distances  to  direct  measurement. 



As  I  have  repeatedly  stated,  and  as  is  well  known,  the  chief  divide  of 
the  waters  is  the  main  ridge  of  the  Rocky  Mountains,  running  generally 
a  northwest  and  southeast  course,  separating  the  waters  of  the  Atlantic 
from  those  of  the  Pacific,  consequently  giving  two  general  sloj)es,  one 
to  the  east,  the  other  to  the  west,  modified  by  lateral  ranges,  mount- 
ains, &c.  I  have  already  alluded  to  the  north  and  south  course  of  the 
minor  ranges  as  modifying  the  influence  of  the  general  slope,  crossing, 
at  right  angles,  the  natural  direction  of  the  water  coming  down  from 
the  chief  divide,  turning  the  minor  streams  north  and  south.  But  there 
is  also  another  very  important  modifying  feature,  which  has  much  to 
do  with  giving  form  to  the  water-basins  and  the  general  course  of  their 
water  drainage.  This  is  a  great  transverse  divide,  which,  though  not 
so  prominent  and  perceptible  as  the  great  longitudinal  one,  is  equally 
potent,  so  far  as  acting  as  a  dividing  water-shed  is  concerned. 

Starting  near  the  northwest  corner  of  JSTebraska,  it  runs  westward  to 
the  northwest  corner  of  ISTevada,  making  a  sharp  bend  northward  along 
the  west  boundary  of  Wyoming,  around  the  upper  arm  of  the  Green 
Eiver  Basin. 

By  examining  a  good  map,  the  influence  of  this  almost  imperceptible 
divide  upon  the  water  systems  of  this  region  will  be  seen  at  once  from  the 
direction  the  principal  streams  flow  to  reach  their  respective  reservoirs. 
By  crossing  the  Eocky  Mountains  somewhat  at  right  angles,  it  forms  four 
great  basins,  the  one  sloping  to  the  northeast,  the  waters  of  which  are 
drained  by  the  Upper  Missouri,  the  one  to  the  northwest  being  drained 
by  the  Columbia,  the  one  to  the  southeast  being  drained  by  the  Platte, 
the  one  to  the  southwest  being  double,  the  Great  Salt  Lake  Basin  and 
the  Green  River  Valley. 

The  waters  of  the  northeast  and  southeast  basins  reach  the  Missis- 
sippi through  the  same  channel,  the  Missouri.  The  plains  at  the  base 
of  the  mountains  in  Montana  having  a  much  less  elevation  than  those 
lying  along  the  east  base  of  the  range  in  Wyoming  and  Colorado,  and 
the  distance  the  waters  of  the  former  have  to  traverse  to  reach  the  junc- 
tion of  the  two  being  much  greater  than  that  of  the  latter,  it  follows 
that  the  descent  of  the  former  is  much  less  rapid  than  that  of  the  latter. 
Hence,  we  find  that  while  the  Plattes  have  a  descent  on  the  plains  of 
from  five  or  six  to  eight  feet  to  the  mile,  that  of  the  Missouri  east  of 
Fort  Benton  is  only  about  two  feet  to  the  mile.  Therefore,  while  it  will 
be  possible,  by  extensive  canals,  to  utilize  the  waters  of  the  former 
streams  in  irrigating  the  plains  which  border  them,  the  same  thing 
would  seem  to  be  impossible  in  regard  to  the  waters  of  the  Missouri,  or 
its  chief  tributary,  the  Yellowstone.  Possibly  something  may  hereafter 
be  done  in  the  way  of  raising  water  by  machinery,  but  this  can  be  made 
remunerative  only  at  certain  points,  and  to  a  very  limited  extent.  Hus- 
banding the  water  during  freshets,  when  a  higher  level  is  reached,  may 
also  be  practicable,  to  a  limited  extent  i  but  I  know  too  little  in  regard 
to  the  rises  in  this  stream  to  express  any  opinion  on  this  point. 

Lewis's  Fork  of  the  Columbia,  (Snake  River,)  whicli,  in  the  southern 
part  of  Idaho,  traverses  an  extensive  plain,  has  a  descent  of  certainly 
not  less  than  six  or  eight  feet  to  the  mile ;  and  as  the  bordering  lands  are 
low  and  comparatively  level,  there  is  no  apparent  reason  why  its  waters 
may  not  be  utilized  to  their  full  extent  in  irrigating  this  plain. 

How  far  the  waters  of  these  streams  may  be  rendered  useful  as  a 
means  of  transportation,  I  cannot  say.  That  the  Plattes  and  Snake 
Eiver,  as  they  now  are,  are  not  navigable,  is  quite  certain ;  but  I  see  no 


reason  why  a  system  of  canals  may  not  be  constructed  which,  would  not 
only  afford  water  for  irrigation,  but  also  a  means  of  transportation,  un- 
less it  be  that  it  would  not  be  remunerative.  At  present,  such  projects 
are  impracticable,  the  population  of  that  section  not  requiring  them, 
and  the  slow  movements  of  this  mode  of  transportion  are  not  adapted 
to  present  requirements.  But  the  day  may,  and  probably  will,  come 
when  a  canal  from  the  upper  waters  of  the  North  or  South  Platte,  or  of 
the  Arkansas,  to  the  Missouri  or  Mississippi,  will  justify  the  transpor- 
tation of  minerals  and  products  of  the  Eocky  Mountain  regions,  which 
would  otherwise  be  valueless.  It  is  possible  a  difficulty  would  be  ex- 
perienced on  account  of  the  porosity  of  the  soil,  but  so  far  as  tried  for 
irrigating  ditches  no  difficulty,  so  far  as  I  am  aware,  has  been  experi- 
enced in  this  respect;  but  these,  it  is  true,  have  a  much  greater  descent 
than  could  be  given  to  a  canal  intended  for  transportation.  But  in  sum- 
ming up  the  resources  of  this  portion  of  the  country,  these  should  not 
be  overlooked  because  they  would  not  at  present  be  remunerative. 


We  may  state,  as  a  general  fact  to  which  there  are  but  few  exceptions, 
that  west  of  the  one  hundredth  meridian  there  is  no  other  useful  timber 
than  pine  and  fir  until  after  we  have  crossed  the  Sierra  Nevada  Eange, 
and  if  for  the  California  side  we  add  the  celebrated  redwood,  we  em- 
brace nearly  all  the  important  timber  in  the  western  part  of  the  United 
States.  While  the  Territories  and  Pacific  States  have  many  advan- 
tages of  which  they  may  with  proj)riety  boast,  it  is  useless  and  unwise  to 
shut  our  eyes  to  the  fact  that  the  general  scarcity  of  timber  is  a  serious 
drawback.  West  of  the  one  hundredth  meridian  the  timbered  land  . 
cannot  be  fairly  estimated  at  more  than  one-twentieth  of  the  whole  area. 
This  is  the  estimate  given  for  California  by  C.  F.  Eeed,  esq.,  president 
of  the  State  board  of  agriculture,  and  is  as  high  an  estimate  as  can 
fairly  be  made  for  the  entire  western  section  of  the  UnioD.  And  if  we 
exclude  from  the  calculation  Oregon,  Washington  Territory,  the  north- 
ern parts  of  Idaho  and  Montana,  even  this  would  be  too  high.  As  a 
matter  of  course,  if  we  look  at  the  mountain  region  of  California  and 
Northwestern  Wyoming,  the  Uintah  and  Colorado  Mountain  groups, 
Northwestern  Montana,  Oregon,  and  Washington  Territory,  this  esti- 
mate will  appear  to  do  injustice  to  the  country.  But  when  we  take  into 
consideration  the  broad,  treeless  plains  stretching  eastward  from  the 
base  of  the  main  range,  the  naked  hills,  valleys,  mesas,  and  plains  of 
New  Mexico,  Arizona,  and  Western  Utah,  the  barren  plain  of  Green 
Eiver,  treeless  expanse  of  the  Laramie  Plains,  the  smooth  and  rounded 
hills  and  slopes  of  Southern  Idaho  and  Southern  Montana,  and  com- 
pare their  extent  with  the  narrow,  timbered  strips  that  skirt  their  streams 
and  occasionally  flank  the  elevated  ridges,  we  will  be  apt  to  think  the 
estimate  rather  too  high.  But  for  fear  I  may  be  accused  of  doing  in- 
justice to  this  country  in  these  remarks  and  others  I  desire  to  make  on 
this  subject,  I  will  quote  the  very  appropriate  and  timely  remarks  of 
C.  P.  Eeed,  esq.,  president  of  the  California  State  board  of  agri- 
culture, published  in  the  Transactions  of  the  California  State  Agricul- 
tural Society  for  1868-'69 : 

"  We  have  frequently  called  the  attention  of  our  agriculturists  to  this 
subject,  (tree  and  forest  culture,)  and  have  at  different  times  urged 
action  in  its  behalf  by  the  legislature.  No  more  important  subject  can 
be  named  for  legislative  encouragement  or  for  energetic  action  on  the 
part  of  the  people.    We  are  all  interested  in  whatever  affects  the  com- 


forts  of  individuals  and  the  prosperity  of  the  country.  The  subject  of  a 
plentiful  supply  of  lumber  and  wood  for  the  various  purposes  of  life  is 
one  that  we  cannot  much  longer  neglect.  Whoever  takes  the  trouble 
to  look  this  subject  fully  in  the  face,  and  reflects  upon  the  future  of 
California,  must  feel,  as  we  do,  that  something  should  be  done,  and  that 
immediately,  looking  to  the  substitution  of  new  forests  in  the  place 
of  the  old  ones  in  our  State,  now  so  rapidly  being  consumed  and 
destroyed.  A  full  discussion  of  this  subject  cannot  be  entered  into  in 
the  short  space  allowed  in  a  mere  report,  where  so  many  subjects  of 
interest  claim  attention.  But  we  propose  to  notice  some  facts  and 
make  some  suggestions,  which  may  lead  to  further  investigation  and, 
we  hope,  to  energetic  action. 

"  We  have  become  so  accustomed  to  speak  of  the  forests  of  our  State, 
of  our  'big  trees,'  as  the  grandest  and  most  majestic  in  the  world  j 
we  hear  so  much  of  the  vast  quantities  of  timber  and  lumber  being 
shipped  from  those  forests,  to  supply  the  nations  of  the  earth  with 
masts  and  other  heavy  timbers  for  ship-building  and  other  purposes, 
that  we  have  thoughtlessly  come  to  regard  our  supply  of  these  mate- 
rials and  of  materials  for  fuel  as  practically  inexhaustible.  The  facts 
are  quite  different.  Although  the  forests  we  have  are  properly  a  sub- 
ject of  State  pride,  they  are  as  properly  a  subject  of  State  protection. 
,  California  is  far  from  being  a  well- timbered  country.  Nearly  all  the 
timber  of  any  value  for  ship  and  general  building  purposes,  or  for  lum- 
ber for  general  use,  is  embraced  within  small  portions  of  the  Coast 
Eange  or  the  Sierra  Nevada  districts.  Eedwood,  the  most  valuable  tim- 
ber in  the  State,  and  probably  in  the  world — taking  all  its  qualities  into 
consideration — is  principally  confined  to  the  counties  of  Mendocino, 
Sonoma,  and  Santa  Cruz.  Monterey,  Santa  Clara,  and  San  Mateo  con- 
tain but  small  tracts  each  covered  with  this  valuable  timber.  Hum- 
boldt, Trinity,  Klamath,  and  Del  Norte  embrace  nearly  all  the  balance 
of  the  timber  of  value  in  the  Coast  Eange.  It  mostly  consists  of  an 
inferior  or  hybrid  redwood,  spruce,  and  pine.  The  lumber  district  of 
the  Sierra  Nevada  is  principally  embraced  in  the  counties  of  El  Dorado, 
Placer,  Nevada,  Sierra,  Plumas,  and  Siskiyou.  Calaveras,  Tuolumne, 
and  Mariposa  contain  only  scattering  clusters  of  valuable  timber, 
though  some  of  the  largest  and  finest  trees  in  the  world  are  found 
within  their  borders.  The  timber  of  this  district  is  mostly  different 
varieties  of  pine,  spruce,  and  cedar.  The  other  mountain-counties  of  the 
State  afford  very  little  timber  of  any  account  for  building  purposes  or 
for  lumber.  The  agricultural  counties,  as  a  general  thing,  have  only 
narrow  strips  of  timber  along  the  water-courses,  consisting  mostly  of 
scrub-oak,  cotton-wood,  sycamore  and  willow,  of  but  little  general  value 
except  for  fire-wood.  The  surface  of  our  best  timbered  counties  is  not,  in 
general,  half  covered  with  valuable  timber.  It  is  therefore  safe  to  esti- 
mate that  not  over  one-twentieth  of  the  surface  of  the  State  is  covered 
with  forests  containing  trees  valuable  for  timber  or  lumber. 

"  It  is  now  but  about  twenty  years  since  the  consumption  of  timber  and 
lumber  commenced  in  California,  and  yet  we  have  the  opinion  of  good 
judges,  the  best  lumber-dealers  in  the  State,  that  at  least  one-third  of 
all  of  our  accessible  timber  of  value  is  already  consumed  and  destroyed. 
If  we  were  to  continue  the  consumption  and  destruction  at  the  same 
rate  in  the  future  as  in  the  past,  it  would  require  only  forty  years  there- 
fore to  exhaust  our  entire  present  supply.  This,  in  itself,  seems  like  a 
startling  proposition,  but  let  us  look  a  little  further,  and  we  shall  find 
truths  and  considerations  more  startling  still.  In  the  twenty  years  to 
come  we  will  probably  more  than  double  our  population,  but  let  us  as- 


sume  tbat  we  will  only  double  it.  As  a  general  rule,  in  a  new  country 
the  consumption  of  timber  increases  in  about  double  the  ratio  of  popu- 
lation. Thus  while  the  increase  of  population  of  the  United  States  from 
1850  to  1860  was  35.59  per  cent.,  the  increase  of  the  consumption  of 
lumber  was  63.09  per  cent.  Upon  this  basis  and  rule,  the  whole  availa- 
ble lumber  of  our  State  will  be  consumed  and  destroyed  in  twenty  years 
instead  of  forty.  We  must  also  take  into  consideration  in  this  connec- 
tion the  fact  that  we  are  now  just  entering  upon  an  era  of  active  public 
improvements,  all  requiring  the  use  of  heavy  timber  and  lumber.  The 
building  of  railroads,  bridges,  warehouses,  wharves,  factories,  bulk- 
heads, and  the  timbering  of  mines,  will  probably  consume  ten  times  as 
much  lumber  within  the  next  twenty  years  as  has  been  consumed  for 
these  purposes  in  the  past  twenty  years.  The  building  and  equipping 
of  railroads  may  be  considered  a  new  and  special  element  in  the  in- 
creased consumption  of  lumber,  as  this  business  in  our  State  has  really 
but  just  commenced.  One  of  the  worst  features  of  the  settlement  of 
new  countries  by  Americans  is  the  useless  and  criminal  destruction  of 
timber.  In  our  State  this  reckless  and  improvident  habit  has  been  in- 
dulged in  to  an  unprecedented  extent.  Thousands  upon  thousands  of 
the  noblest  and  most  valuable  of  our  forest-trees  in  the  Sierra  Nevada 
districts  have  been  destroyed,  without  scarcely  an  object  or  purpose, 
certainly  with  no  adequate  benefit  to  the  destroyer  or  any  one  else. 
This  practice  cannot  be  condemned  in  too  severe  terms ;  it  cannot  be 
punished  with  too  severe  penalties. 

"  South  of  California,  on  the  Pacific  coast,  there  is  but  very  little  tim- 
ber or  wood  of  any  description.  The  Pacific  South  American  States 
are,  in  fact,  dependent  on  us,  and  the  coast  States  north  of  us,  for  nearly 
all  their  lumber.  They  have  been  drawing  heavily  from  these  sources 
to  rebuild  their  wharves  and  public  works  destroyed  by  the  earthquakes 
of  1868.  On  the  north,  Oregon,  British  possessions,  and  Alaska  are 
generally  well  timbered.  We  have,  for  the  past  five  years,  been  obtain- 
ing large  quantities  of  lumber  from  these  countries,  and  now  that  the 
Central  Pacific  Eailroad  has  advanced  the  freight  on  lumber  from  our 
own  mountains  fifty  per  cent,  over  former  prices,  our  trade  in  this  direc- 
tion will  still  increase. 

"  While  these  countries  contain  a  large  supply  of  very  excellent  tim- 
ber, this  supply  is  by  no  means  exhaustless.  At  this  time  almost  the 
whole  world  is  drawing  its  sujDply  of  heavy  timber  from  the  Northern 
Pacific  coast.  England,  France,  Australia,  China,  Japan,  South  Amer- 
ica, Mexico,  and  Sandwich  Islands  are  all,  more  or  less,  engaged  in 
securing  their  wants  for  ship-building  and  other  heavy  works  from  these 
valuable  forests.  With  the  heavy  drafts  on  these  countries,  added  to 
their  home  consumption,  it  is  not  i^robable  that  the  supply  will  hold  out 
much  longer  than  that  of  our  own  State. 

"  In  the  above  statements  and  estimates,  we  have  only  taken  into 
account  such  timber  as  is  fitted  for  building  and  for  lumber  for  general 
purposes.  As  to  hard  wood,  fit  for  wheelwright  purposes  and  agricul- 
tural and  other  machinery,  we  may  say  there  is  none  of  it  on  this  coast. 
We  have  always  either  imported  the  machinery  or  the  material  to  make 
it  of  from  the  Atlantic  States.  For  ornamental  work  we  have  a  limited 
supply,  the  California  laurel  being  very  superior. 

"After  what  has  been  said  above,  we  hardly  need  to  comment  on  the 
scarcity  of  timber  in  the  State  for  the  general  purposes  of  fuel.  Taking 
all  the  agricultural  counties  in  the  State  together,  including  the  cities 
and  towns  within  them,  and  considering  the  probable  increase  of  popu- 
lation, it  is  very  doubtful  whether,  under  present  management,  they 


will  be  able  to  supply  their  own  demands  for  fuel  for  ten  years  to  come. 
While  it  will  pay,  in  case  of  necessity,  to  freight  lumber  and  heavy 
timber  great  distances  by  land,  and  to  ship  it  by  water  half-way  round 
the  globe,  it  becomes  very  burdensome  and  oppressive  to  all  classes  of 
the  community  to  be  compelled  to  convey  wood  for  domestic  and  man- 
ufacturing purposes  comparatively  but  small  distances.  To  illustrate 
this  proposition  we  need  only  to  mention  the  fact  that  while  there  is 
within  an  area  of  twenty  miles  from  either  of  the  cities,  Marysville, 
Stockton,  or  Sacramento,  a  plenty  of  wood  for  a  year  or  two's  supply, 
and  it  costs  but  $2  a  cord  to  have  it  cut,  yet  the  present  price  of  wood 
in  each  of  these  cities  is  about  $10  a  cord.  Even  at  this  high  price 
the  owner  of  wood-land  thirty  miles  from  Sacramento,  on  the  line  of  the 
Central  Pacific  Eailroad,  can  make  that  wood  net  him  only  one  dollar  and 
a  half  a  cord  delivered  in  the  city.  These  facts  show  how  extremely  ex- 
pensive and  oppressive  it  would  be  to  undertake  to  supply  the  cities  of 
the  State  with  wood  from  the  distant  mountains.  And  yet  what  other 
resource  will  be  left  a  very  few  years  hence?  California  should  at  no 
distant  day  become  one  of  the  greatest  manufacturing  States  of  the 
Union ;  but  where  will  we  obtain  the  fuel  with  which  to  generate  the 
steam  that  propels  the  machinery?  Again,  a  new  element  of  calcula- 
tion on  this  subject  has  just  been  introduced  among  us  and  will  grow 
rapidly  in  the  future.  We  refer  to  the  consumption  of  fuel  by  the  rail- 
roads. There  are  now  in  the  State,  completed  and  in  operation,  about 
seven  hundred  miles  of  road.  In  a  year  from  now  it  is  safe  to  say  there 
will  be  over  a  thousand ;  call  it  one  thousand  even.  It  requires  one  cord 
and  three-fourths  of  wood,  with  an  ordinary  train,  to  drive  an  engine 
twenty-five  miles.  ITow,  assuming  that  an  average  of  ten  trains  a  day 
will  then  be  running  over  this  one  thousand  miles  of  road  for  three  hun- 
dred and  twenty  days  in  the  year,  and  we  have  a  distance  of  three  mil- 
lion two  hundred  thousand  miles  traveled  in  a  year.  As  each  twenty- 
five  miles  of  distance  traveled  will  consume  one  cord  and  three-fourths 
of  wood,  the  consumption  on  one  thousand  miles  of  road  will  be  224,000 
cords  per  year.  In  twenty  years  we  will  probably  have  four  thousand 
miles  of  road  completed,  averaging  twenty  instead  often  trains  per  day, 
and  consuming  1,792,000  cords  of  wood  per  annum.  This,  added  to  the 
increased  consumption  for  all  the  other  purposes  of  life,  will  make  rapid 
inroads  into  the  few  sparsely  wooded  portions  of  our  State,  if  there 
should  indeed  be  any  trees  left  standing  at  that  time. 

"The  first  effect  of  a  scarcity  of  lumber  and  wood  will  be  to  enhance 
the  cost.  We  have  already  noticed  the  high  price  of  wood  delivered  in 
our  cities.  Lumber  has  not  advanced  very  much  in  value  for  the  last 
ten  years  except  indirectly.  The  cost  of  cutting,  manufacturing,  and  get- 
ting to  market  has  been  decreasing,  while  the  cost  to  the  consumer  has 
remained  the  same.  It  is  the  opinion  of  dealers  that  it  will  soon  increase 
in  value  very  materially.  It  cannot  be  otherwise,  as  we  have  shown  that 
the  demand  will  increase  rapidly  and  the  supply  decrease.  Even  now  the 
cost  and  scarcity  of  these  articles  is  having  an  oppressive  efiect  on  every 
industry  in  the  State.  The  expense  of  agricultural  implements  and  tools 
here,  over  their  cost  in  the  Eastern  States,  is  already  operating  as  a  seri- 
ous drawback  upon  the  thrift  and  profit  of  our  farmers,  brought  in  close 
competition,  as  they  now  are,  with  their  neighbors  of  the  western  Atlan- 
tic States.  The  cost  of  lumber  for  building  and  fencing,  in  most  of  our 
agricultural  districts,  obtained,  as  it  is,  at  a  distance  of  hundreds  of 
miles  away,  is  even  now  so  great  that  our  farmers  are  among  the  poor- 
est housed  people  of  any  agricultural  community  in  the  Union  where  the 
country  has  been  settled  an  equal  length  of  time.    Their  crops  and  stock 


are  but  poorly  sheltered,  if  at  all,  and  their  farms  are  worse  than  poorly- 
fenced.  To  the  expense  of  lumber  more  than  to  any  other  cause  must 
be  attributed  the  general  dilapidated  appearance  of  our  agricultural  dis- 
tricts. Efforts  to  improvement  in  these  respects  lead  to  a  forced  system 
of  farming;  too  frequent  cropping  and  little  or  no  nursing  of  the  land; 
to  thai  sameness  of  production  which  we  have  had  cause  so  severely  to 
condemn.  The  cost  of  lumber  and  of  wood  is  already  discouraging  every 
mechanical,  every  manufacturing,  and  every  commercial  industry  of  the 
State ;  for  the  use  of  these  articles  is  in  some  way  an  important  ele- 
ment in  them  all.  The  advancement  of  all  our  towns  and  cities  in 
building  and  improvement  is  being  now  retarded  very  much,  directly 
and  indirectly,  by  the  cost  of  these  necessary  articles  of  life.  The  cost 
of  houses  enhances  the  price  of  rent.  The  price  of  rent  and  cost  of 
wood  add  materially  to  the  general  expenses  of  living,  and  these  in  turn 
enhance  the  price  of  labor  of  every  kind,  and  consequently  decrease  the 
production  and  retard  the  general  prosperity  and  improvement  of  the 
cities  and  country.  If  this  be  the  case  now  when  we  are  so  young  and 
our  population  so  thin,  when  the  demand  for  these  articles  is  increased 
twenty-fold  and  the  supply  decreased  in  the  same  ratio,  who  can  depict 
the  condition  of  our  State  ? 

"■  We  have  estimated  that  not  over  one-twentieth  part  of  the  surface 
of  our  State  is  now  covered  with  heavy  timber,  and  we  believe  we  are 
within  the  bounds  of  truth  when  we  state  that  not  over  one-eighth  of 
the  entire  surface  is  covered  with  trees  of  any  description  whatever.  It 
is  the  opinion  of  the  best  judges,  founded  on  historical  facts  and  a  long 
series  of  observations  and  experiments,  that  at  least  one-third  of  the 
surface  of  any  country  should  be  forests ;  that  this  relation  between 
forest  and  cultivated  land  will  secure  the  most  advantageous  conditions 
of  climate,  and  the  greatest  amount  of  productions  for  the  sustenance 
of  human  and  animal  life.  Fire  has  undoubtedly  been  the  original  and 
active  cause  of  so  great  a  proportion  of  prairie  or  untimbered  land 
within  our  borders.  Being  once  destroyed,  the  consequent  climatic  con- 
dition of  the  country  has  prevented  a  reproduction  of  the  original  forests. 
Nature  now,  unassisted  by  man,  can  never  effect  that  reproduction, 
without  some  great  physical  revolution  that  will  change  the  whole  fea- 
tures of  the  country.  That  the  nakedness  of  the  earth's  surface  is  the 
cause  of  the  extreme  wet  and  dry  seasons  in  our  State,  and  particularly 
of  the  destructive  floods  to  which  the  valleys  are  subject,  cannot  for  a 
moment  be  doubted  by  any  one  at  all  acquainted  with  the  laws  of  nature, 
and  the  agency  of  those  laws  in  the  production  and  modification  of 
climate  through  the  forests  of  a  country.  For  want  of  space  we  cannot 
enter  into  a  full  discussion  of  this  important  branch  of  this  subject,  but 
will  state  a  historical  fact  in  the  language  of  one  of  the  best  authors  who 
has  ever  written  on  this  subject.  Han.  G-.  P.  Marsh,  speaking  of  the 
effect  of  the  destruction  of  forests  upon  the  different  countries  of  the 
earth,  says :  '  There  are  parts  of  Asia  Minor,  of  ISTorthern  Africa,  of 
Greece,  and  even  of  Alpine  Europe,  where  the  operation  of  causes,  set 
in  action  by  man,  has  brought  the  face  of  the  earth  to  a  desolation  almost 
as  complete  as  that  of  the  moon.  The  destructive  changes  occasioned 
by  the  agency  of  man  upon  the  flanks  of  the  Alps,  the  Appenines,  the 
Pyrenees,  and  other  mountain  regions  in  Central  and  Southern  Europe, 
and  the  ijrogress  of  physical  deterioration,  have  become  so  rapid  that,  in 
some  localities,  a  single  generation  has  witnessed  the  beginning  and  the 
end  of  the  melancholy  revolution.'  Words  could  not  more  truthfully 
describe  the  effects  produced  by  similar  causes  in  some  portions  of  our 
own  State.    Mr.  Marsh  continues :  ^  It  is  certain  that  a  desolation  like 


that  wbifth  has  overwhelmed  many  once  beautiful  and  fertile  regions  of 
Europe  awaits  an  important  part  of  the  territory  of  the  United  States 
unless  prompt  measures  are  taken  to  check  the  action  of  the  destructive 
causes  already  in  operation.'  This  last  remark  applies  with  greater 
force  to  a  large  share  of  our  own  State  than  many  of  us  are  aware  of. 

"  In  many  countries  where  rains  are  of  frequent  occurrence  during  the 
summer  season,  keeping  the  surface  of  the  soil  moist,  vegetation,  how- 
ever delicate  and  tender,  once  started  in  the  spring  of  the  year,  con- 
tinues to  grow  until  checked  by  the  succeeding  autumn  or  winter.  By 
this  time  the  roots  have  obtained  such  a  hold  on  the  ground  as  to  secure 
continued  life,  unless  destroyed  by  artificial  causes.  Not  so  in  our  State. 
The  dry  season  here  follows  so  rapidly  after  the  wet  and  germinating 
period,  that,  without  irrigation  or  cultivation,  tender  and  delicate  plants, 
like  young  trees  of  all  kinds,  grown  from  seed  lying  on  the  surface,  as 
they  fall  from  the  parent  trees,  are  almost  always  dried  up  and  destroyed 
before  they  are  four  months  old.  Hence  it  is  that  a  section  of  country 
once  stripped  of  trees  and  shrubbery,  in  our  State,  always  remains  naked. 
Once  a  prairie,  always  a  prairie,  until  art  comes  to  the  assistance  of 
nature.  Hence  it  is  that  wheresoever  our  forests  have  been  cut  down 
and  cleared  away,  allowing  the  rays  of  the  sun  to  fall  directly  on  the 
soil,  so  few  3^oung  trees,  or  trees  of  the  '  second  growth,'  are  to  be 

This  quotation  contains  some  remarkable  statements  and  admissions 
by  one  who  is  a  citizen  of  the  section  described ;  but  the  statements  are 
true,  and  the  warnings  therein  given  are  for  the  best  interests  of  his 
State,  and  should  be  well  pondered,  not  only  by  the  legislators  of  Cali- 
fornia, but  also  by  our  national  statesmen. 

Strike  out  the  local  names  from  this  quotation,  and  almost  every 
statement  in  it  will  apply  with  equal  force  to  the  entire  Eocky  Mountain 
region.  So  far  as  I  have  seen  this  section,  the  distribution  of  the  forests 
is  similar  to  that  of  California ;  they  are  isolated,  found  upon  the  higher 
mountain  groups  and  ranges,  and  surrounded  by  broad,  timberless 
spaces.  As  is  well  known  to  all  who  have  any  knowledge  of  the  West, 
the  plains  which  lie  along  the  east  flank  of  the  great  range,  stretching 
eastward  toward  the  Mississippi,  are  almost  entirely  treeless,  the  nar- 
row fringes  skirting  a  few  of  the  streams  not  being  of  sufficient  import- 
ance to  be  taken  into  consideration.  This  belt,  which  varies  in  width 
from  two  to  four  hundred  miles,  extends  from  the  British  possessions  on 
the  north  to  Mexico  on  the  south,  a  distance  of  over  twelve  hundred 
miles,  and  includes  an  area  of  about  four  hundred  thousand  square 
miles.  The  lumber  for  every  house  built  upon  this  broad  space  must  be 
transported  from  one  side  or  the  other ;  so  with  every  railroad-tie,  tim- 
ber for  fencing,  and  for  all  the  purposes  where  timber  or  lumber  of  any 
kind  is  required,  unless  it  is  cultivated  and  grown  in  artificial  groves 
and  forests. 

ISTew  Mexico  also  presents  a  very  large  treeless  area.  Around  the 
sources  of  the  Pecos,  along  the  eastern  and  southern  rim  of  San  Luis 
Valley,  on  the  Mimbres  and  Guadalupe  Mountains,  and  in  the  north- 
western part  of  the  Territory  are  found  the  principal  forests  affording 
valuable  timber,  while  the  rest  of  its  area  is  generally  without  forests 
or  trees  of  any  value  except  for  fuel.  Fortunately,  the  forests  are  gen- 
erally in  the  vicinity  of  the  narrow  agricultural  areas,  and  in  some 
instances  the  trees  are  large  and  fine,  making  good  lumber ;  but  most 
of  the  older  towns  and  villages  have  to  procure  their  lumber  and  fuel  at 
a  considerable  distance. 

Colorado  is  a  comparatively  new  Territory,  and  its  mountains  afford 


a  large  forest  area,  but  even  here  it  is  somewhat  difficult  to  obtain  it. 
transportation  for  a  considerable  distance  being  necessary  to  supply  the 
demands  of  the  agricultural  population.  And  the  rapid  consumption 
for  building,  railroads,  mining,  and  other  purposes  is  rapidly  sweeping 
away  the  more  accessible  portions  of  the  mountain  forests.  And  here, 
as  in  other  parts  of  the  mountain  region,  fire  is  playing  sad  havoc  with 
the  arborescent  covering  of  the  mountain  side. 

The  j)rincipal  timbered  sections  of  Wyoming  are  those  along  the 
southern  boundary  of  the  Territory,  and  in  the  extreme  northwestern 
corner;  large  tracts  of  country,  even  within  the  mountain  districts,  as 
Laramie  Plains,  the  Green  Eiver  Plains,  and  Sweet  Water  Country,  being 
almost  entirely  timberless.  Utah  has  no  important  forests,  except  those 
found  along  the  higher  portions  of  the  Wahsatch  Eange,  the  entire  Salt 
Lake  Basin  furnishing  few  spots  covered  with  forests  of  any  value  for 
timber  or  lumber.  The  northwest  part  of  Montana  contains  a  consider- 
able area  covered  with  valuable  forests,  which  will  aftbrd  excellent  lum- 
ber, but  which  can  be  made  available  only  to  a  limited  district  until 
penetrated  by  railroads,  by  which  it  may  be  transported  to  those  sections 
which  do  not  possess  it. 

But  to  say  the  best  we  can  in  this  respect,  a  population  of  this  part  of 
the  West  equal  to  that  in  California  will,  at  the  present  rate  of  destruc- 
tion, soon  strip  the  accessible  forests  of  their  valuable  timber.  And 
unless  some  method  of  preventing  the  present  wanton  destruction  can 
be  adopted,  the  supply  will  be  cut  off  much  sooner  than  anticipated ;  for, 
as  stated  in  the  quotation  made,  this  destruction  increases  in  a  much 
larger  ratio  than  the  increase  of  x)opuiation.  And  not  only  is  this  true 
if  we  limit  our  calculations  to  that  which  is  applied  to  some  useful  pur- 
poses, but  the  destruction  by  fires,  and  that  which  is  without  any  equiv- 
alent benefit,  also  increases  in  the  same  rapid  i)roportion.  In  traveling 
through  the  mountain  districts  I  was  surprised  at  the  large  number  of 
burned  streaks  which  I  observed.  In  some  places  we  would  not  travel 
more  than  a  mile  or  two  without  seeing  either  to  the  right  or  left  a 
blackened  belt  stretching  up  the  mountain  side.  If  these  spots  would 
again  be  covered  by  a  new  growth  the  result  would  not  be  so  disastrous; 
but  as  has  been  truly  stated  in  the  quotation,  this  is  not  the  case,  for 
when  once  the  forest  covering  is  destroyed,  it  is  never  restored,  but 
remains  forever  bare.  Whether  this  be  wholly  due  to  the  climatic  con- 
ditions or  not,  I  do  not  know,  but  there  are  some  reasons  to  believe  that 
even  where  undisturbed  by  the  hand  of  man  the  forests  are  gradually 
disax^pearing  under  the  influences  of  natural  causes. 

The  smooth  and  rounded  hills  in  parts  of  Wyoming,  Utah,  Southeast 
Idaho,  Southern  Montana,  and  other  parts  of  the  Eocky  Mountain  region, 
have  occasionally  here  and  there  a  few  trees  which  have  every  appear- 
ance of  being  the  remnants  of  former  forests.  These  hills  bear  unmis- 
takable evidence  of  having  been  worn  down  by  the  action  of  the  atmos- 
phere, water,  ice,  snow,  &c.  The  debris  which  has  been  worn  down  has 
covered  up  the  former  ruggedness  of  their  declivities.  This  is  so  appar- 
ent that  in  many  places  its  course  can  be  traced  down  the  sides  along 
the  graceful  curves  to  its  termination  in  the  valley.  But  where  the 
original  rugged  declivity  has  resisted  this  action  there  almost  invariably 
forests  will  be  seen.  I  have,  therefore,  come  to  the  conclusion  that  the 
forests  of  the  Eocky  Mountains,  as  a  general  thing,  are  decreasing  from 
natural  causes,  and  I  base  my  conclusions  on  the  following  grounds: 

First.  The  wearing  down  of  the  mountains  and  hills ;  the  debris,  as 
it  descends  destroying  the  forests  on  their  sides.  At  Pleasant  Valley, 
(where  the  stage-road  from  Corinne  to  Helena  crosses  the  range,)  in 


the  basaltic  canon,  this  action  even  now  appears  to  be  in  process,  many 
of  the  blocks  of  stone  having  recently  been  looseiied  and  rolled  down- 
ward, carrying  with  them  the  pines,  which  may  yet  be  seen.  Here  every 
stage  of  the  process  can  be  distinctly  seen.  . 

Secondly.  In  many  places,  as  at  the  last-mentioned  point,  at  the  head 
of  Black-Tail  Deer  Creek,  along  the  head-waters  of  Sweet  Water,  the 
largest  trees  appear  to  be  dying  without  any  apparent  cause,  no  evi- 
dence of  fire  being  visible. 

Thirdly.  With  the  exception  of  two  or  three  points,  when  the  forest  is 
once  destroyed  it  never  renews  itself.-  At  one  point  west  of  the  range, 
on  the  road  from  Helena  to  Deer  Lodge,  I  noticed  a  grove  of  young  pines 
or  firs,  which  were  growing  up  on  what  appeared  to  he  a  burned  district. 
At  one  or  two  points  in  the  interior  of  the  mountains,  back  of  Denver, 
I  noticed  the  same  thing;  also  on  the  Eaton  Mountains.  But  the 
reverse  is  not  ofily  the  general  but  almost  the  universal  rule  throughout 
this  immense  extent  of  country.  Add  to  this  the  immense  destruction 
by  fire  and  the  wanton  destruction  by  human  hands,  and  the  prospect 
for  timber  in  this  section  in  the  future  is  not  very  flattering.  Unless 
there  shall  be  some  remarkable  change  in  climatic  agencies  this  decay 
must  go  on,  as  man  has  no  power  to  prevent  it ;  he  may  cease  the 
destruction  occasioned  by  his  own  negligence  and  wantonness,  but  he 
cannot  stop  the  process  on  the  mountains. 

The  late  severe  snow-storms  (January,  187'2)are  somewhat  remarkable. 
I  have  not  obtained  the  particulars  in  regard  to  them,  but  if  the  news- 
paper reports  are  correct,  they  indicate  the  possibility  of  reacting  cli- 
matic influences,^  which  it  would  be  well  to  study  with  care. 

But  our  only  reasonable  hope  of  a  change  in  the  amount  and  distri- 
bution of  moisture  and  a  supply  of  timber  is  through  the  planting  of 
forest-trees.  Each  Territory  and  State  within  the  area  under  consid- 
eration should  take  this  matter  in  hand,  and  by  means  of  proper  laws  or 
premiums  carry  the  planting  of  trees  parallel  with  the  settlement  of 
the  country.  And  directly  connected  with  this  matter  is  the  want  of 
hard  wood  in  the  entire  portion  of  the  United  States  west  of  the  one 
hundredth  meridian.  I  learn,  to  my  great  astonishment,  that  there  is 
no  hard  wood  suitable  for  wheelwright  purposes,  or  for  the  manufacture 
of  agricultural  or  other  machinery,  to  be  found  on  the  western  coast  of 
North  America,  from  the  Arctic  Ocean  to  the  Isthmus.  Whether  this 
is  correct  or  not  I  am  not  able  to  state,  but  I  am  satisfied  it  is  true  within 
the  limits  of  the  United  States.  All  the  material  of  this  kind  which  is 
used  even  in  making  wagons  anywhere  west  of  the  ninety-ninth  or  one 
hundredth  meridian  to  the  Pacific  has  to  be  brought  from  the  Atlantic 
States.  Now,  if  anything  can  be  done  to  relieve  this  want,  surely  it 
would  be  of  great  benefit  to  future  generations  if  of  a  permanent  char- 
acter. It  is  probable  that  no  wood  can  be  grown  in  this  dry  district  of 
a  tenacity  equal  to  that  grown  in  the  rain-moistened  districts  of  the 
Atlantic  slope ;  but  it  is  possible  that  such  as  will  be  adapted  to  all 
ordinary  purposes  may  be  produced,  and  the  experiment  is  one  that  is 
■worth  trying. 

The  industrial  agent  of  the  Kansas  Pacific  Eailroad  is  trying  the 
experiment  of  growing  forest  trees  on  the  plains  without  irrigation. 
It  is  to  be  hoped  that  this  will  not  be  given  up  until  it  is  thoroughly 
tested ;  and  I  would  suggest  that  although  the  experiment  may  not  suc- 
ceed along  the  whole  length  of  the  belt  across  the  plains,  yet  it  is  of 
vast  importance,  should  it  fail  in  part,  to  know  how  far  west  it  is  pos- 
sible to  encroach  upon  the  plains.  If  an  inch  can  be  permanently  gained 
by  the  first  experiment,  an  ell  may  be  gained  by  perseverance.  ' 
15  G  s  , 


Perhaps  it  will  not  be  out  of  place  for  me  here  to  make  a  suggestion 
in  regard  to  a  matter  which  deeply  concerns  the  future  welfare  of  the 
western  half  of  the  United  States.  As  I  have  frequently  stated,  and  as 
is  now  pretty  generally  known,  irrigation  is  indispensable  to  cultiva- 
tion of  the  soil  throughout  (with  some  very  limited  exceptions)  all  that 
part  of  the  United  States  west  of  the  one  hundredth  meridian.  We  also 
know  from  the  history  of  those  countries  where  irrigation  is  extensively 
practiced  that  it  is  absolutely  necessary  that  the  State  shall  take  more 
or  less  control  of  this  matter,  upon  which  its  prosperity,  and,  in  fact, 
perpetuity  rests.  We  may  therefore  predict,  with  confidence,  that  the 
day  is  not  far  distant  when  the  States  and  Territories  in  the  district 
where  irrigation  is  necessary  will  have  to  take  absolute  control  of  the 
system  of  irrigatiort  or  keep  a  watchful  eye  over  it  and  guard  it  well  by 
laws,  regulations,  restrictions,  &c. 

As  the  development  of  the  agricultural  resources  of  these  States  and 
Territories  and  their  prosperity  depend  upon  irrigation  and  the  extent 
to  which  this  may  be  made  available,  therefore  it  is  a  subject  of  x^ara- 
mount  importance,  not  only  to  those  sections  but  also  to  the  General 
Government.  Unless  proper  and  efficient  steps  are  taken  at  an  early 
day  to  adopt  the  best  system  of  regulations,  which  will  be  adapted  to 
an  increased  i^opulation,  when  the  necessities  demand  such  action  in 
the  future,  it  will  cause  much  difficulty  and  inconvenience  to  lay  aside 
one  system  and  adopt  another.  This  is,  therefore,  a  matter  well  worthy 
the  consideration  of  our  national  legislators  while  the  Territories  re- 
main their  wards;  and  if  they  can  place  these  on  the  right  footing  now, 
it  will  greatly  tend  to  accelerate  their  growth  and  prosperity.  But  the 
question  is  asked,  How  are  they  to  do  this?  Is  it  possible  for  them  to 
do  this  in  accordance  with  their  constitutional  powers  and  without  undue 
expense  to  the  National  Government  ?  I  am  of  the  opinion  there  is  a 
method  by  which  this  can  be  done,  and  I  herewith  submit  the  plan  in 
a  few  words. 

Let  the  General  Government  grant  to  the  States  and  Territories  in 
the  region  where  irrigation  is  necessary — say,  for  example,  all  lying  west 
of  the  one  hundredth  meridian,  or  perhaps  the  ninety-ninth,  every  alter- 
nate section  of  public  land,  with  the  condition  that  it  be  devoted 
entirely  to  the  construction  of  irrigating  canals  and  carrying  on  a  sys- 
tem of  irrigation.  And  the  law  making  such  grant  should  expressly 
reserve  water  privileges  to  those  who  may  settle  upon  and  occupy  the 
remaining  sections.  By  expressly  providing  that  these  lands  should  be 
applied  solely  to  this  purpose,  it  will  be  apparent  to  any  one  what  an 
immense  impetus  it  would  give  to  the  development  of  the  agricultural 
resources  of  this  section.  All  of  the  available  water  would  thus  be 
brought  into  use,  and  the  reserved  lands  would  also  much  sooner  be 
brought  into  demand,  as  they  would  be  as  much  entitled  to  the  benefit 
of  this  measure  as  the  lands  thus  granted.  And  in  order  to  secure  the 
grant  from  any  improper  diversion  from  the  object  contemplated  in  the 
grant,  the  law  should  provide  that  the  States  and  Territories  should 
refund  to  the  General  Government  the  value,  at  the  minimum  price,  of 
all  lands  which  the  legislatures  of  these  States  and  Territories  should 
appropriate  to  any  other  imrpose.  The  law  should  further  provide  that 
the  grant  should  not  include  any  portion  of  the  reserved  lands  in  lieu 
of  those  which  might  be  occupied  at  the  time  of  its  passage,  but  should 
include  only  those  employed.  It  should  also  provide  that  these  State 
and  territorial  governments  should  not  use  any  of  the  proceeds  of  these 
Jands  so  granted  for  the  payment  of  officers  and  other  expenses  of  such 
registers,  receivers,  &c.,  as  would  necessarily  have  to  be  incurred  in  the 


sale,  &c.,  of  these  lands,  but  should  limit  the  application  of  the  funds 
arising  under  this  grant  to  the  expenses  belonging  strictly  to  the  sys- 
tem of  irrigation.  This  should  not  apply  of  course  to  mineral  lands,  and 
a  special  i>rovision  may  be  made  in  regard  to  the  timbered  lands  on  the 
mountains  which  are  not  adapted  to  agricultural  purposes.  One-half  of 
these  might  profitably  be  granted,  with  the  provision  that,  as  a  return 
therefor,  it  should  be  the  duty  of  these  State  and  territorial  govern- 
ments to  guard  and  preserve  the  forests  on  those  lauds  not  thus 

There  would  be  some  difficulty  in  regard  to  the  survey  of  these  mount- 
ain lands,  but  here  the  division  need  not  be  limited  to  alternate  sections, 
but  might  be  by  townships,  or  in  such  a  manner  as  the  Commissioner 
of  the  General  Laud-Office  might  ascertain  to  be  most  practicable. 

I  think  it  cannot  be  denied  that  such  a  plan  would  result  in  more 
permanent  benefit  to  these  sections  and  to  the  General  Government 
than  any  other  which  can  possibly  be  adopted.  It  would  at  once  prepare 
the  way  for  the  introduction  of  the  best  possible  system  of  irrigation, 
and  prevent  the  inconvenience  and  trouble  which  will  hereafter  arise 
when  the  introduction  of  such  a  system  becomes  absolutely  necessary. 
It  would  rapidly  bring  into  use  the  lands  which  require  such  extensive 
canals  that  individuals  will  not  at  present  undertake  it.  There  are  mil- 
lions of  acres  on  the  broad  plateau  bordering  the  Arkansas,  Eio  Grande, 
Plattes,  Snake,  Missouri,  and  other  rivers  which  might  be  rendered 
excellent  agricultural  lands  if  an  enlarged  system  of  irrigation  could  be 
inaugurated.  But  individual  effort  is  inefficient  for  this  pui^pose.  And 
though  the  granting  of  lands  to  railroads  may  partially  accomplish  this, 
yet  it  is  evident  that  it  falls  infinitely  short  of  that  result  which  would 
be  brought  about  by  the  system  here  proposed. 

I  submit  these  thoughts  with  the  earnest  request  that  you  will  give 
them  such  consideration  as  you  think  they  merit.  The  object  which  the 
plan  is  proposed  to  accomplish  I  know  to  be  one  which  you  have  long 
cherished,  and  for  which  you  have  so  many  years  labored,  and  to  which 
you  now  look  forward  with  an  earnest  hope. 



As  I  have  already  given,  in  a  former  report,  a  description  of  the 
various  valleys  and  arable  tracts  in  Utah,  I  shall  at  i)resent  confine 
myself  to  a  general  view  of  the  principal  geographical  features  of  the 
Great  Basin,  concluding  the  portion  devoted  to  the  Territory  with 
a  more  minute  account  of  that  section  visited  in.  person  the  present 

I  i\se  the  term  "Great  Basin"  in  contradistinction  to  that  of  "Salt 
Lake  Basin,"  to  include  that  immense  area  lying  between  the  Wahsatch 
Mountains  on  the  east  and  the  Sierra  Nevada  Eange  on.  the  west,  em- 
bracing the  western  part  of  Utah  and  the  entire  State  of  Nevada.  In 
shape  it  is  something  like  an  ancient  shield,  the  broad  end  being  to  the 
North,  the  southern  extremity  rounded  to  a  point,  its  extreme  width 
about  350  miles  and  its  length  north  and  south  300  miles.  Having  no 
outlet  for  its  waters,  b\^  which  they  may  be  carried  to  the  ocean,  it  forms 
an  isolated  and,  as  might  be  inferred  from  this  fact,  a  somewhat  peculiar 


Although  a  basin  in  fact  so  far  as  its  water-drainage  is  concerned, 
yet  its  surface  does  not  sweep  down  from  the  surrounding  rim  to  a  cen- 
tral depression,  but,  on  the  contrary,  its  areas  of  greatest  depression  are 
to  be  found  near  the  borders,  especially  along  the  eastern  and  western 
sides,  while  its  central  portion  reaches  a  much  greater  elevation,  and  is 
broken  into  a  series  of  detached  ridges.  This  will  be  seen  by  an  exami- 
nation of  the  elevations  along  the  line  of  the  Central  Pacific  Eailroad. 
For  example,  at  Brigham  Station,  on  the  border  of  Salt  Lake,  it  is  4,220 
feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea,  while  at  Pequop,  the  next  station  west 
of  Toana,  it  reaches  6,184  feet;  from  this  it  again  gradually  descends  to 
Desert,  the  second  station  east  of  Wadsworth,  where  it  is  only  4,017 
feet,  or  about  200  feet  below  the  level  of  Salt  Lake.  The  highest  ranges 
in  it  will  probably  exceed  the  greatest  elevation  here  given  as  much  as 
1,500  or  2,000  feet.  The  elevations  at  the  points  of  greatest  depression 
in  the  southeastern  and  southwestern  portions  have  not  been  accurately 
determined,  but  it  is  known  that  in  the  vicinity  of  Sevier  Lake  it  is  not 
more  than  4,500  feet  above  the  level  of  the  sea.  A  comparison  of  these 
elevations  with  those  of  the  broad  mountain  belt  lying  east  from  the 
Wahsatch  Kange  to  the  Black  Hills  of  Wyoming  will  bring  out  this 
feature  more  clearly  and  forcibly,  and  at  the  same  time  afford  us  a  means 
of  comparing  the  climate  of  the  two  sections,  so  far  as  influenced  by 
elevation,  in  the  same  latitude.  The  highest  point  of  the  Union  Pacific 
Eailroad  on  the  western  side  of  this  belt  is  at  Wahsatch  Station,  6,879 
feet  above  the  sea-level.  The  highest  on  the  eastern  side  is  at  Sherman, 
8,242  feet.  The  lowest  point  between  the  two  is  at  Green  Eiver,  where 
the  elevation  is  6,140  feet,  or  about  2,000  feet  above  the  lowest  level  of 
the  basin.  Some  of  the  intermediate  ranges,  as  the  Uintah  Mountains, 
reach  a  height  of  10,000  or  12,000  feet,  and  the  peaks  occasionally 
exceed  13,000  feet.  That  this  difference  in  altitude  must  produce  a 
considerable  difference  in  the  climate  is  evident.  North  the  difference 
is  not  so  great. 

This  depression  below  the  general  level  is  a  fact  of  much  importance 
in  estimating  the  agricultural  resources  of  this  extensive  interalpine 
region,  as  it  indicates  a  very  material  moderation  of  climate.  And  that 
which  might  be  inferred  theoretically  has  been  shown  by  extensive  ex- 
periments to  be  true  in  fact,  as  can  be  seen  from  the  list  of  the  produc- 
tions of  Salt  Lake  Valley  given  in  my  last  report. 


The  mountain  features  of  this  basin  are  somewhat  peculiar,  differing 
in  some  important  respects  from  those  of  the  sections  lying  east  and 
north,  and  exerting  a  decided  influence  upon  the  channels  of  travel  and 
internal  commerce,  and  upon  the  lines  of  settlement  and  centers  of 
population.  The  Wahsatch  Eange,  which  runs  almost  directly  north 
and  south  near  the  one  hundred  and  twelfth  meridian,  forms  the  eastern 
rim,  and  presents  an  immense  terrace  wall,  bracing  up  the  broad  ele- 
vated table-land  which  stretches  out  eastward  of  it,  and  of  which  it  may 
be  said,  with  more  than  mere  figure  of  speech,  to  form  the  western  es- 
carpment. It  follows  that  its  western  slope  presents  a  greater  descent 
to  reach  the  level  of  the  lake  than  its  eastern  to  reach  the  level  of  Green 
Eiver.  Excerpt  where  cleft  by  the  Ogden,  Weber,  and  Provo  Elvers,  it 
presents  a  continuous  ridge  rising  abruptly  from  the  narrow  plains, 
seldom  sending  out  on  this  side  foot-hills  or  slopes,  but  plunging  ab- 
ruptly down  beneath  the  debris  that  presses  against  its  surface.     This 


character  is  especially  prominent  opposite  Salt  and  Utali  Lakes.    The 
western  face,  though  rocky,  does  not  present  that  jagged,  rugose  ap- 
pearance so  characteristic  of  portions  of  the  Eocky  Mountains,  but  is 
marked  by  deep  and  sharp  furrows,  down  which  the  little  streams  formed 
by  the  melting  snow  rush  with  impetuous  speed  to  the  valley  below. 
These  little  rills  and  mountain  brooks,  though  but  small  in  volume,  not 
combining  to  form  any  extensive  streams,  are  perhaps  of  more  value 
to  the  pioneer  settler  than  the  larger  oues.    And  in  our  estimate  of  the 
irrigable  land  of  this  western  country,  especially  if  we  pass  through  it 
in  the  latter  part  of  summer  or  in  autumn,  we  are  apt  to  overlook  or 
underestimate  their  value.    I  am  satisfied  that  while  in  some  instances 
I  may  have  overestimated  the  capacity  of  large  streams,  I  have  paid  too 
little  regard  to  the  small  ones.    My  attention  was  called  in  a  special 
manner  to  this  subject  while  camped  near  Ogden  the  present  season. 
Our  tents  were  i^itched  on  the  high  ground  to  the  northeast  of  the  town, 
which,  to  one  traveling  along  one  of  the  usual  highways,  would  appear  to 
be  entirely  beyond  the  reach  of  irrigation,  the  elevation  being,  as  ap- 
pears from  the  observations  of  Mr.  Schonborn,  the  topographer  of  the 
expedition,  over  300  feet  above  the  level  of  the  lake,  and  about  300  feet 
above  Weber  Eiver  at  the  railroad  depot.    Yet  even  here  I  noticed 
around  and  for  some  distance  above  camp  several  irrigating  ditches 
well  filled  with  water,  from  one  of  which  we  obtained  a  supply  for  camp 
use.    I  found,  upon  examination,  that  these  were  supplied  with  water 
from  little  streams  running  down  the  indentations  in  the  mountain  side 
to  the  north  of  us,  fed  by  the  patches  of  melting  snow  resting  among 
the  crevices  along  the  summit.    Although  within  two  miles  of  the  base, 
and  the  hot  sun  shining  squarely  against  what  appeared  to  be  a  bare 
and  naked  rocky  wall,  we  could  detect  no  stream  flowing  dowmit.    Not 
until  we  had  apj)roached  to  the  very  base  could  we  discover  the  sih^ery 
thread  winding  its  way  down  among  the  bowlders  and  little  fringe  of 
bushes  that  lined  its  pathway.    This  stream  furnished  water  sufiicient 
to  irrigate  and  supply  the  wants  of  a  moderate  sized  farm.    Multiply 
this  by  tens  of  thousands  and  we  will  have  some  idea  of  the  importance 
of  these  minor  and  annual   streams  which  generally  pass  unnoticed 
except  by  those  immediately  interested  in  them. 

Passing  to  the  interior  of  the  basin,  whether  moving  round  the  north 
or  south  end  of  the  lake,  we  shall  find  a  succession  of  "  long,  abrupt,  de- 
tached, parallel  ridges  extending  in  a  north  and  south  direction."  And  . 
this  holds  true  not  only  on  the  eastern  side,  or  Salt  Lake  Basin  proper, 
but  also  throughout  the  greater  portion  of  ISTevada.  That  such  is  the 
case  in  the  southeastern  part  of  this  State  is' expressly  stated  in  the  re- 
port of  the  expedition  under  Governor  Blasdel  to  Pahranagat.  Baron 
Eichthoren  alludes  to  the  same  character  of  the  ranges  in  the  southwest. 
These  ridges  are  separated  by  intervening  valleys  of  various  width,  and 
even  where  the  valleys  expand  into  broad  open  plains,  as  in  the  central 
and  western  part  of  Utah,  their  boundary  walls  retain  the  same  general 
course.  The  valley  of  the  Humboldt  might,  at  first  sight,  appear  to 
form  a  remarkable  exception  to  this  rule,  but  a  closer  examination  will 
show  this  to  be  a  mistake ;  for  the  greater  part  of  its  course  it  is  formed 
by  a  series  of  openings  through  these  ridges  and  across  the  intervening 
valleys.  That  this  is  true  is  clearly  shown  by  the  direction  of  the  trib- 
utaries that  flow  into  it.  This  uniformity  in  the  direction  of  these  minor 
ranges  was  noticed  by  Captain  Stansbury,  who  states  that  even  the 
northern  rim  of  the  basni  partakes  of  the  same  character.  "  The  north- 
ern rim  of  the  Great  Basin,  or  the  elevated  ground  which  divides  it 


from  the  valley  of  the  Columbia,  does  not  consist,  as  has  been  supposed, 
of  one  continuous  mountain  range  which  may  be  flanked,  but  of  a  num- 
ber of  long,  abrupt,  detached  parallel  ridges  extending  in  a  north  and 
south  direction,  and  separated  by  intervening  valleys,  which  constitute, 
as  it  were,  so  many  summit  levels,  whence  the  waters  flow  north  on  the 
one  side  into  the  Columbia,  and  south  on  the  other  into  the  Great 
Basin."  And  in  this  opinion  he  is  quite  correct,  for  in  passing  from 
Cache  Yalley  to  Marsh  Valley,  the  one  lying  south  and  the  other  north 
of  this  rim  or  divide,  we  found  the  two  so  united  as  to  be  continuous, 
but  elevated  at  one  point  by  a  kind  of  broad  cross-ridge  which  acted  as 
a  divide  between  the  waters.  I  also  know  that  such  is  the  case  with 
the  Malade  Valley. 

In  Utah  this  direction  of  the  A'-alleys  holds  good  with  a  remarkable 
uniformity.  Cache,  Malade,  Blue  Spring,  Hansee  Spring,  Jordan, 
Tooele,  Tintic,  San  Pete,  Eush,  Lone  Eock,  and  Upper  Sevier  Valleys  all 
maintain  this  course  almost  direct,  while  the  two  i)arts  of  Salt  Lake 
conform  very  nearly  to  it.  From  the  head  of  Malade  Eiver  to  Utah 
Lake  is  one  continuous  valley,  varying  less  than  five  degrees  from  a 
north  and  south  course.  Antelope  and  Fremont's  Islands  and  Oquirrh 
Mountains  lie  in  a  direct  line  with  the  course  of  the  promontory  which 
separates  the  northern  arms  of  the  lake.  Without  any  reference  to  this 
law  which  seems  to  govern  the  hills  and  valleys,  I  colored,  upon  a  large 
map,  the  arable  tracts  of  the  Territory  so  far  as  at  present  known,  espe- 
cially those  in  which  settlements  have  been  made,  when  I  was  aston- 
ished to  find  that  from  the  thirty-ninth  parallel  to  the  northern  bound- 
ary almost  every  tract  so  colored  would  be  included  in  a  strip  along  the 
one  hundred  and  twelfth  meridian  not  exceeding  fifty  miles  in  width ; 
Tooele,  Eush,  and  Weber  Valleys  being  the  only  exceptions.  Another 
singular  evidence  of  the  force  of  this  law  which  governed  the  formation 
of  these  ranges  and  valleys  is  shown  in  Cache  Valley,  which  maintains 
the  same  direction,  though  closed  at  the  lower  end  by  a  cross-range  of 
broken  hills  which  shoot  out  from  the  Wahsatch  Eange,  and  crossed 
at  the  north  end  in  a  diagonal  manner  hj  the  valley  of  Bear  Eiver.  A 
similar  feature  seems  to  govern  the  valleys  of  the  western  side  of  the 
basin.  Baron  Eichtboren,  speaking  of  the  Washoe  Mountains,  says 
that  they  are  separated  from  the  steep  slope  of  the  Sierra  Nevada  by  a 
continuous  meridional  depression,  marked  by  the  deep  basins  of  Truckee 
Valley,  Washoe  Valley,  and  Carson  Valley.  Though  irregular,  a  gen- 
eral direction  may  be  traced  in  the  summit  range  from  north  to  south, 
where  it  slopes  down  to  a  smooth  table-land,  traversed  from  west  to  east 
by  the  Carson  Eiver,  flowing  in  a  narrow  crevice,  beyond  which  the 
Washoe  Eange  is  protracted  in  the  more  elevated  Pine-Nut  Mountains. 

Notwithstanding  this  uniformity  in  the  direction  of  the  ridges  and 
valleys,  it  exerts  but  little  influence  on  the  few  leading  streams,  but,  on 
the  contrary,  directs  the  course  of  all  the  minor  streams.  That  it  must 
have  more  or  less  influence  upon  the  lines  of  travel  and  traffic,  and  the 
localities  of  the  settlements  of  the  Territory  of  Utah,  is  evident.  A  sin- 
gle railroad  line  from  Corinne  or  Brigham  City,  in  the  north,  to  Saint 
George,  in  the  extreme  southwest,  would  have  the  principal  agricultural 
areas  strung  so  closely  along  it  that  a  day's  drive  with  a  team  would 
reach  it  from  almost  any  settlement  likely  to  be  made  for  some  years  to 
come,  (the  chief  exceptions  being  those  already  named  and  those  lying- 
north  of  its  terminus.)  It  is,  therefore,  easy  to  predict  where  the  chief 
highway  of  this  Territory  will  be. 



The  rivers  of  the  basin  are  small,  and,  so  far  as  the  volume  of  water 
is  concerned,  of  small  importance,  bat  in  other  respects  play  a  conspic- 
uous part  in  the  development  of  the  country.  The  principal  ones  are 
the  ELumboldt  and  Carson,  in  the  western  area,  and  the  Bear  and  Jor- 
dan Eivers,  in  the  eastern  part.  Sevier  and  Beaver  Elvers,  in  the 
southwestern  part  of  Utah,  are  considerable  streams  as  compared  with 
others  of  the  section ;  but  as  little  is  accurately  known  in  regard  to 
them,  I  pass  them  without  any  special  notice.  Weber  River,  on  account 
of  its  position,  and  as  forming  a  gap  through  the  mountain,  is  important. 
Provo  (or  Timpanogas)  may  be  considered  as  a  tributary  to  the  Jordan. 

As  a  list  of  the  principal  valleys  of  Nevada  will  be  appended  to  this 
report,  with  a  short  notice  of  the  agricultural  resources  of  each,  I  shall 
omit  further  reference  to  that  State  at  present,  except  the  bearing  the 
Humboldt  Elver  and  Valley  have  upon  the  travel  and  commerce  of  the 
basin.  This  stream,  rising  in  the  northeast  part  of  Nevada,  runs  a  lit- 
tle south  of  west  for  about  three  hundred  miles,  where  it  suddenly  disap- 
I)ears  in  what  has  been  very  significantly  and  appropriately  termed  the 
"Humboldt  Sink,"  on  the  extreme  western  side  of  the  State.  Though 
a  little  stream  of  but  few  yards  in  width  at  its  widest  point,  winding  its 
way  down  the  gradual  descent  through  narrow  valleys  of  a  monotonous 
uniformity  that  soon  tires  the  most  enthusiastic  traveler,  wholly  inade- 
quate for  navigation  of  any  kind,  yet  it  possesses  an  importance  not  to 
be  overlooked.  Its  valley  forms  a  natural  channel  for  the  great  inter- 
oceanic  highway,  furnishing  a  natural  and,  we  might  say,  the  only,  easy 
pathway  and  water-supply  through  a  barren  region  of  mountains  and 
valleys  for  thi;ee  hundred  miles.  This  is  certainly  a  consideration  of  no 
small  moment,  for  it  renders  it  really  more  valuable  to  the  nation  and 
the  world  than  if,  without  this,  it  were  navigable  from  head  to  mouth. 
Small  as  it  is  compared  with  the  treeless  ranges  of  hill  and  plain  on 
each  side,  yet  it  will  furnish  the  means  of  forming  at  least  a  narrow  line 
of  green  fields  through  this  comparatively  barren  section ;  for,  to  say  the 
beat  we  can  of  this  region,  although,  perhai)S,  affording  moderate  graz- 
ing fields,  yet  outside  of  the  immediate  bottoms  of  the  few  streams  it  has 
a  barren  and  uninviting  appearance.  This  line  assumes  still  more  im- 
portance when  we  take  into  consideration  the  large  mining  area  on  each 
side,  especially  south,  to  which  it  forms  the  base  of  travel  and  commerce; 
and  the  prevailing  direction  of  the  ridges  and  valleys,  before  alluded  to, 
lend  additional  force  to  this  statement.  It  must  ever  be  the  chief  axis 
of  inland  commerce  and  travel  for  the  western  portion  of  this  great 
basin,  and,  consequently,  a  link  in  a  through  transverse  line.  Other 
lines  of  railroad  may,  and  x)robably  will,  hereafter  traverse  the  country 
north  and  south  of  this,  but  not  so  closely  as  to  do  away  with  its  im- 
portance. Human  genius  and  energy  may  make  a  pathway  through  the 
most  rugged  portions,  but  nature  has  prepared  but  one  transverse  chan- 
nel in  this  region  ;  longitudinally  (north  and  south)  there  are  many.  But 
while  the  river  is  thus  intimately  connected  with  the  development  of  the 
material  resources  of  the  country,  on  the  contrary,  the  reservoir  into 
which  it  pours  its  waters  possesses  no  other  than  scientific  interest — 
simply  a  marshy  spot  in  a  saiidy  plain,  the  extent  of  the  water  surface 
governed  by  the  supply  and  capacity  of  the  sands  to  drink  it  up  and 
the  atmosphere  to  evaporate  it,  the  two  latter  generally  being  in  excess 
of  the  former. 

Bear  River,  the  largest  tributary  to  Salt  Lake,  takes  its  rise  in  Utah, 
near  the  southwest  angle  of  Wyoming.    After  \Yiuding  its  way  north- 


■ward  through  the  Wahsatch  Mountains,  about  one  hundred  and  fifty 
inileS)  extending  even  into  the  southern  limits  of  Idaho,  suddenly  bends 
its  course  completely  round,  and  flowing  southward,  pours  its  waters 
into  Bear  Eiver  Bay.  As  aifording  a  supply  of  water  for  irrigating 
large  areas  of  land  in  Cache  and  Malade  Valleys,  it  assumes  an  import- 
ance of  no  little  moment;  but  throughout  its  entire  course,  from  its 
head  to  where  it  enters  Cache  Valley,  (with  the  exception  of  a  few  miles 
where  the  railroad  traverses  it,  and  where  the  coal-mines  are  opened,) 
it  exerts  but  little  influence  in  the  development  of  the  country.  Its  vol- 
ume of  water  is  too  small  to  admit  of  navigation;  its  course  is  too  tortu- 
ous to  be  followed  any  great  distance  by  any  one  line  of  travel;  and  its 
valley  is  too  narrow  and  too  closely  hemmed  in  by  rugged  mountains  to 
be  of  any  great  value  as  an  agricultural  section,  yet  not  wholly  without 
interest  in  this  respect.  As  a  means  of  conveying  timber  down  from 
the  mountains  to  the  raikoad  and  other  accessible  points,  it  may  become 
a  valuable  accessory. 

Weber  Eiver,  though  small,  is  remarkable  as  affording  a  gateway 
directly  through  the  Wahsatch  Eange,  Echo  and  Weber  Canons  pre- 
senting, as  is  well  known  to  all  who  have  traveled  on  the  Union  Pacific 
Eailroad,  some  of  the  grandest  scenery  in  the  West. 

The  Jordan  forms  an  outlet  for  the  fresh  water  of  Utah  Lake,  and,  run- 
ning north  some  forty  or  fifty  miles,  empties  into  Salt  Lake  at  its  south- 
east angle.  Insignificant  in  size,  too  small  to  be  navigated,  yet  unlike 
the  Oriental  Jordan,  from  which  it  derived  its  name,  it  is  of  other  value 
than  simply  a  watering-place  for  thirsty  man  and  beast.  It  and  its 
tributaries  afford  water  for  irrigation,  as  shown  in  my  last  report,  to  an 
area  capable,  if  properly  and  thoroughly  cultivated,  of  supporting  a 
population  greater  than  the  entire  x)opulation  of  the  Territory  at  this 

The  Provo,  (or  Timpanogas,)  rising  back  in  one  of  those  mountain 
centers  found  in  the  mountain  regions,  rushes  down  through  a  narrow 
canon,  which  cleaves  the  range  at  this  point,  and  pours  its  waters  into 
Utah  Lake.  In  i)assing  I  Avould  call  attention  to  this  mountain  nucleus, 
situated  about  latitude  40o.30,  longitude  111°,  and  culminating  in 
Eeed's  Peak.  This  is  doubtless  formed  by  the  junction  of  the  Uintah 
Mountains  with  the  Wahsatch  Eange.  Here,  within  a  small  area,  all  the 
leading  rivers  of  Salt  Lake  Basin  proper  take  their  rise,  viz,  Bear, 
Weber,  and  Provo ;  also  the  Uintah  and  White  Eivers,  which  flow  to  the 
east  and  enter  into  Green  Eiver.  The  volume  of  water  in  the  Provo  is 
probably  equal  to  any  other  belonging  to  the  Salt  Lake  water  system, 
except  Bear  Eiver;  and  as  its  descent  is  very  rapid  it  affords  the  means 
of  irrigating  all  the  table-lands  lying  in  the  vicinity  of  its  exit  from  the 
mountains.  It  will  afford  excellent  water-power  for  driving  mills  and 
machinery,  and,  being  on  the  margin  of  the  lake,  must  become  of  great 
value  in  this  respect. 

Sevier  Eiver  rises  in  the  southwest  part  of  the  Territory  and  runs  a 
little  east  of  north  between  two  ranges  of  the  Wahsatch  Mountains 
for  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  or  more,  when  it  breaks  through  the 
western  rim  of  its  narrow  basin,  and,  turning  southwest,  flows  into 
Sevier  Lake.  But  as  I  have  not  visited  this  river  I  cannot  speak  very 
confidently  in  regard  to  its  imi)ortance  and  the  bearing  it  is  likely  to 
have  upon  the  development  of  the  country.  Very  little  appears  to  be 
known  in  regard  to  the  lake  into  which  its  waters  flow.  Mr.  Smith,  one 
of  the  members  of  the  topographical  corps  of  the  present  expedition, 
passed  around  its  southern  margin  a  few  years  since.  Although  he  did 
not  stop  to  make  an  examination,  he  saw  clearly  that  it  was  a  lake,  and 


not  a  mere  sink  or  marsh,  being  surrounded  by  a  low  growth  of  bushes. 
This  would  indicate  that  its  waters  are  salt.  The  little  streams  that 
flow  down  the  western  slope  of  the  range,  (improperly  represented  iu 
most  maps  as  flowing  east  through  the  monutains,)  and  sink  in  the 
plains  during  the  summer  and  autumn,  probably  reach  the  lake,  by  one 
or  two  channels,  in  the  early  part  of  the  season,  when  fullest,  as  their 
general  course,  after  reaching  the  x)lain,  is  known  to  be  to  the  northwest. 
From  Weber  River  to  the  creek  that  flows  into  Salt  Lake  City,  about 
thirty  miles  iu  a  direct  line,  only  two  or  three  small  rills  are  to  be  seen ; 
but  from  the  latter  to  the  south  end  of  Utah  Lake  some  ten  or  twelve 
moderately  sized  creeks  flow  down  from  the  Wahsatch  Eange,  a  list  and 
description  of  which  can  be  seen  in  my  former  report.  The  range  on 
the  west  side  of  Jordan  and  Utah  Valleys  gives  rise  to  none  worthy  of 
note,  two  little  rills  from  the  Oquirrh  Mountains  being  all  I  saw. 


Although  its  waters  are  strongly  saline  and  brackish,  unfit  for  use  to 
man  or  beast,  and  its  depths,  so  far  as  known,  undisturbed  by  finny 
tribes,  yet  the  Great  Salt  Lake  is  the  chief  object  of  interest  in  the 
physical  geography  of  the  basin.  Its  dark-looking,  (though  really  trans- 
l>arent,)  heavy  waters  when  not  broken  into  rugged  waves  by  storms, 
resting  quietly,  its  surface  reflects  the  shadows  of  the  ranges  that  rise  up 
on  either  hand,  giving  the  scene  a  look  of  quiet  solitude  that  all  the  hum 
of  business  along  its  shore  is  unable  to  dispel.  The  dark-brown  wall  of 
the  Wahsatch,  until  the  rising  sun  has  reached  its  zenith,  sends  down 
a  heavy  shadow  which  adds  intensity  to  this  feeling.  This  perpetual 
somberness,  it  would  seem,  must,  to  a  greater  or  less  degree,  impress 
itself  upon  the  mind  of  the  resident  who  makes  the  rural  districts 
long  his  home.  One  thing  which  adds  to  this  somewhat  peculiar  som- 
berness is  the  clear,  transparent  atmosphere,  which  renders  Aasion  tele- 
scoi)ic,  bringing  the  mountain-walls  close  around  us. 

Although  the  shores  of  the  lake  have  been  inhabited  for  twenty  years, 
and  numerous  scientific  travelers  and  parties  have  traversed  this  region, 
and  the  great  railway,  from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Pacific,  passes  along  its 
margin,  yet  little  is  known  in  regard  to  it  more  than  its  mere  outline  as 
originally  mapped  by  Captain  Stansbury.  Its  western  coast  is  known 
to  the  public  only  through  the  interesting  narrative  of  Captain  Stans- 
bury;  and  although  some  analyses  of  its  waters  have  been  made,  yet 
comparisons  from  different  parts  and  different  depths  have  so  far  been 
entirely  neglected,  and  up  to  this  hour  little  or  almost  nothing  can  be 
stated  positively  in  regard  to  animal  life  in  its  waters.  Numerous 
species  of  small  fishes  of  Articulata  and  Mollusca  are  to  be  found  in  the 
streams  that  flow  into  it,  and  traced  to  its  very  margin ;  but  how  far 
into  the  lake  these  extend  is  not  known.  That  ducks  and  other  water- 
flowls  gather  food  along  its  shore  I  know  from  personal  observation.  I 
have  also  seen  Bear  Eiver  Bay  almost  covered  with  gulls;  and  Stans- 
bury brings  this  fact  prominently  forward  in  one  of  his  figures  of  Gun- 
nison Island,  which  lies  on  the  western  side  at  a  distance  from  the  influx 
of  fresh  water.  Although  Captain  Stansbury  thinks  these  birds  obtain 
their  food  entirely  from  the  fresh- water  streams,  yet  he  speaks  of  finding 
a  blind  pelican  in  a  "sleek  and  comfortable  condition."  Although 
these  birds  may  congregate  here  for  the  purpose  of  rearing  their  young, 
yet  this  seems  scarcely  adequate  to  account  for  the  presence  of  such 
numbers.  The  only  analysis  of  the  waters. of  the  lake  that  I  am 
acquainted  with  is  that  made  by  Dr.  Gale  and  recorded  in  Captain 


Stausbury's  report.  It  gives  the  specific  gravity,  1.170;  solid  contents, 
22.422  out  of  100  parts.  The  solid  contents,  when  analyzed,  gave  the 
following  components : 

Chloride  of  sodium. , 20. 196 

Sulphate  of  soda 1. 834 

Chloride  of  magnesium 0.  252 

Chloride  of  calcium A  trace. 

22.  282 
Loss 0.140 

22.  422 

The  specific  gravity  as  here  given  corresponds  exactly  with  the  mean 
of  eight  different  analyses  of  the  waters  of  the  Dead  Sea,  which  is  largely 
above  that  of  the  water  of  the  ocean,  (1.0278.)  The  solid  contents  of 
the  water  of  the  Dead  Sea,  takiug  the  mean  of  the  eight  analyses,*  before 
mentioned,  is  but  21.077,  or  1.345  less  than  that  of  Great  Salt  Lake. 
This  analysis  shows  clearly,  as  confirmed  by  practical  experiments,  that 
here  cau  be  obtained  an  abundant  supply  of  salt  for  all  the  wants  of 
this  entire  region,  the  percentage  in  the  water  being  unusally  large. 

When  we  remember  that  all  the  water  which  flows  into  the  lake  is 
fresh,  a  somewhat  puzzling  question  arises  as  to  the  source  of  such  au 
abundant  supply  of  saline  matter.  But  the  numerous  and  extensive 
saline  incrustations  at  various  points  on  the  surrounding  shores,  left 
by  the  drying  up  of  the  winter  marshes,  show  very  clearly  that  some 
portion  of  the  earth  is  saturated  with  this  ingredient.  But  as  an  inves- 
tigation of  this  subject  does  not  belong  to  the  scope  of  this  report,  let 
us  turn  to  that  most  interesting  feature  of  the  lake,  the  fact  that  although 
receiving  the  waters  of  various  streams,  yet  it  is  without  any  visible 
or  even  supposed  outlet,  its  influx  of  water  being  disposed  of  entirely  by 
evaporation.  A  very  natural  inference  is  that  the  level  of  the  lake 
must  vary  with  the  amount  of  water  discharged  into  it  by  its  various 
tributary  streams.  In  the  spring,  when  the  streams  are  highest,  the 
humi<lity  of  the  atmosphere  greatest,  and  consequently  evaporation 
slowest,  we  would  presume  the  level  of  the  lake  is  higher  than  in  the 
latter  part  of  summer  when  the  tributaries  are  low  and  the  atmosphere 
dry.  What  the  difference  of  the  level  is  between  these  extremes  I  do 
not  know,  nor  am  I  aware  that  any  observations  have  been  made  for  the 
purpose  of  ascertaining,  but  I  am  inclined  to  think  it  far  less  than  might 
be  supposed.  The  rise  of  the  level  of  the  lake  within  the  last  eight  or 
ten  years,  I  am  satisfied,  can  have  no  connection  with  an  increased  influx 
of  water,  but  is  owing  entirely  to  some  other  cause. 

The  shores  being  quite  flat,  a  variation  of  the  level  of  the  lake  can  be 
easily  perceived,  and  hence  the  fluctuations  if  considerable  would  be 
observed.  But  there  is  probably  a  very  potent  reason  why  these  varia- 
tions are  very  slight ;  the  evaporating  influence  is  probably  in  excess  of 
the  normal  "amount  of  water  flowing  in,  but  is  counteracted  by  the 
extreme  saltness  of  the  water,  hence  the  spring  excess  of  water  does 
not  produce  the  effect  on  the  status  of  the  lake  that  might  be  expected. 
In  other  words,  the  lake  would  dry  up  and  become  simply  a  water-sink 
as  that  of  the  Humboldt,  if  it  were  not  for  its  saltness.    The  material 

*  Smith's  Bib.  Die,  III,  1183c. 


of  which  the  bottom  of  the  lake  is  composed  also  probably  has  influence 
in  this  matter. 

According  to  my  calcnlation,  from  all  the  datal  have  at  hand,  the  sur- 
face-area of  the  lake  is  about  one  thousand  nine  hundred  square  miles 
Comi)aring'  this  with  some  approximate  estimates  I  have  made  of  the  vol 
ume  of  water  in  the  principal  streams  emptying  into  it,  I  do  not  think 
the  entire  flow  for  twenty-four  hours,  if  there  was  no  evaporation,  would 
raise  the  surface  more  tlaan  one-fiftieth  part  of  an  inch,  even  when  at 
the  usual  spring  standard.  Tn  the  summer  this  would  not  amount  to 
more  than  one-hundredth  part  of  an  inch.  That  the  evaporating  i^ower 
of  the  atmosphere  is  far  in  excess  of  this  amount  of  water  in  the  sum- 
mer time  is  evident  to  any  one  who  has  observed  the  rapidity  with 
which  shallow  pools  are  dried  up.  The  instrumental  test,  so  far  as  it 
has  been  made,  shows  the  atmosphere  in  summer  to  be  exceedingly  dry. 
While  encamped  on  the  margin  of  Bear  Eiver  Bay,  June  10  to  13,  Mr. 
Schonborn  found  the  difference  between  the  Avet  and  dry  bulb  to  be  from 
24°  to  28°.  The  imperfect  record  of  the  wet  bulb  in  Captain  Stansbury's 
report  does  not  show  this  difl'erence,  but  his  observations  do  not  extend 
into  the  summer  months,  reaching  only  to  April  19.  Imperfect  as  this 
record  is,  it  reveals  one  important  fact,  that  during  the  winter  months 
the  difference  between  the  wet  and  dry  bulb  is  very  small,  not  exceed- 
ing four  or  five  degrees,  but  gradually  increases  as  the  season  advances; 
the  greatest  difference  given  being  17°. 


This  beautiful  sheet  of  pure,  fresh  water  is  triangular,  its  three  sides 
closely  margined  by  mountains.  Its  base,  which  is  the  western  side, 
extends  from  the  exit  of  the  Jordan  to  the  southern  extremity  of  the 
lake,  and  is  about  twenty-two  miles  in  a  direct  line.  Its  apex  points 
eastward  and  extends  into  the  somewhat  abrupt  bend  of  the  Wahsatch 
Eange  at  this  point.  A  direct  line  from  the  apex,  near  Provo  City,  to 
the  base,  is  about  twelve  or  fourteen  miles.  The  inclosing  sides  of  this 
angle  are  about  equal  in  length,  each  being  some  sixteen  or  seventeen 
miles  direct.*  Its  surface  area  is  probably  about  one  hundred  and 
thirty  square  miles.  Although  the  Jordan  during  the  spring  and  first 
summer  months  sends  down  a  considerable  volume  of  water,  I  am  satis- 
fied that  it  is  much  less  than  the  amount  received  by  the  lake.  But  as 
I  visited  it  in  the  early  part  of  autumn  I  can  speak  positively  only  as 
to  that  season  of  the  year.  From  the  observations  then  made  I  am 
decidedly  of  the  opinion  that  the  Provo  Eiver  alone  brought  in  more 
water  than  the  Jordan  carried  off,  leaving  this  surplus  and  that  fur^ 
nished  by  six  or  seven  small  creeks  to  be  disposed  of  by  evapora- 
tion. But  it  is  evident  that  the  relation  between  supply  and  evaporation 
is  the  reverse  of  what  it  is  with  Salt  Lake ;  for  as  the  Jordan  never 
fails,  (SO  far  as  I  am  aware,)  the  supply  must  always  be  in  excess  of  that 
carried  off  by  evaporation.  Its  waters  are  well  stocked  with  fish  and 
other  aquatic  forms  of  life. 


As  but  very  few  meteorological  records  have  hitherto  been  kept  in 
this  basin,  and  these  but  for  a  few  years  only,  and  very  irregularly,  we 
can  only  give  an  approximation  to  the  means  of  temperature  and  rain- 

*  Air-liues  are  to  be  understood,  iu  estimatiug  these  distances. 



fall  for  the  year  aucl  months.  Yet  even  these  are  of  great  interest,  as 
they  famish  cumulative  evidence  in  support  of  the  opinion  already  ad- 
vanced respecting  the  climate  of  Salt  Lake  Valley  as  compared  with  the 
elevated  regions  lying  east  of  it. 

The  following  extracts  from  the  registers  of  Camp  Douglass,  near  Salt 
Lake  City,  and  Fort  Bridger,  for  the  year  1870,  will  serve  as  a  basis  of 
comparison : 







Kain  fall. 







49.  71 

















41.  84 
39.  98 




—  8 























Yearly  mean 

Total..  15.10 


Total . .  5. 58 


These  two  stations,  by  air-line,  are  not  exceeding  one  hundred  miles 
apart,  the  latter  being  about  half  a  degree  north  of  the  former,  and 
over  2,000  feet  higher. 

An  examination  of  these  tables  shows  a  constant  dilference  that  is 
somewhat  remarkable;  the  monthly  means,  maxima,  and  minima,  with 
the  single  exception  of  one  maximum,  (where  the  two  are  the  same,) 
of  Camp  Douglass  being  higher  than  those  of  Fort  Bridger.  The 
dilference  betvt^een  the  monthly  means  is  never  less  than  4°.5,  and  never 
more  than  13o.7,  the  average  for  the  year  being  9°.46,  A  comparison 
of  the  extremes  shows  a  greater  difference,  but  this  probably  arises  in 
part  from  the  different  methods  by  which  they  were  obtained,  those  of 
Camp  Douglass  being  only  the  extremes  at  the  times  of  observation, 
■while  those  of  Fort  Bridger  were  obtained  by  a  maximum  and  minimum 
instrument.  Yet  even  these  columns  indicate  a  corresponding  differ- 
ence, that  between  the  maxima  varying  from  0  to  19,  averaging  for  the 
year  9.92,  or  less  than  a  half-degree  more  than  the  average  difference  for 
the  year  between  the  monthly  means.  The  minima  cannot  properly  be 
compared,  as  those  of  Camp  Douglass  do  not  give  the  extreme  cold  of 
the  night,  or  intermediate  hours  between  observations,  while  those  of 
Fort  Bridger  do. 

A  comparison  of  the  seasons  is  quite  interesting.  To  show  this  at  a 
glance,  I  append  the  following  table,  with  a  column  of  differences: 







47.  51 
40.  55 


62.  84 













December  shows  the  lowest  monthly  mean,  and  July  the  highest,  at 
both  places. 

The  record  of  Camp  Douglass  indicates  a  climate  very  favorable  to 
agricaltnre,  the  mean  of  the  five  months  April,  May,  June,  July,  and 
August  being  64.91,  and  the  thermometer  at  no  time,  from  May  to  Sep- 
tember, inclusive,  falling  as  low  as  the  freezing-point.  Other  meteoro- 
logical data  which  I  have  at  hand,  although  fragmentary,  corroborate 
this,  and,  as  a  means  of  reference,  I  present  a  summary  in  the  following 
table,  calling  attention  to  the  fact  that  the  records  were  not  all  kept  at 
the  same  point,  but  all  in  Salt  Lake  Basin,  and  therefore  can  only  be 
considered  valuable  as  indicating  the  climate  of  the  basin,  (the  lake 
basin  proper,)  taken  as  a  whole : 












7-2. 32 



:n.  73 




51.  51 

Great  Salt  Lake,  (Blodgot) 

Carap  Floyd,  (Disturuel) 

(Oct.)  54.  7 

48  65 

Wansliip,  (Agricultural  Report,  186S) 

Salt  Lake  City,  (ditto,  1863  and  1869) 

Coalville,  iu  tlie  mountains,  (ditto,  1869) 






51.  70              27  -"^n 

50  03 

The  record  kept  by  Captain  Stansbury  while  in  Salt  Lake  Yalley  em- 
braces but  a  part  of  the  year,  as  follows :  January  to  May,  inclusive ; 
parts  of  June,  July,  and  August;  and  a  few  days  in  September  and  De- 
cember. In  this  the  maximum  is,  August  10,  3  p.  ra.,  98°;  minimum, 
February  3,  8  a.  m.,  0°,  while  at  11  p.  m.  of  the  previous  day  it  was  8°. 

The  only  record  of  rain-fall  within  the  basin  that  I  have  is  that  of 
Camp  Douglass,  which  is  given  in  one  of  the  foregoing  tables.  There 
is  some  doubt  in  regard  to  the  reduction  of  the  snow,  which  materially 
lessens  the  value  of  this  column,  so  far  as  the  winter  months  are  con-, 
cerned.  I  will  siiniDly  call  attention  to  the  fact  that  this  gives  for  the 
four  growing  months,  April,  May,  June,  and  July,  a  total  of  7.71  inches, 
which  is  but  0.37  above  my  estimate  in  my  last  report  of  the  general 
average  for  spring  and  summer. 


The  Wahsatch  Eange  is  covered  with  a  moderately  heavy  growth  of 
pines  and  firs,  but  these  are  confined  chiefly  to  the  upper  half  of  the 
mountains,  leaving  a  wide  border  along  the  base  uncovered.  The  Oquirrh 
Mountains,  the  range  west  of  Utah  Lake,  and  the  Promontory  also  con- 
tain considerable  quantities  of  pine  timber.  But  as  a  general  thing,  the 
timber  within  the  rim  of  the  basin,  south  of  the  Pacific  Kailroad,  is  small. 
On  some  of  the  ranges  north  a  better  quality  is  found,  but  it  is  not  very 
abundant  at  any  point.  In  regard  to  the  forest  growth  west  and  south- 
west of  the  lake,  I  know  very  little. 



Having  in  ray  last  report  given  short  descriptions  of  the  principal 
valleys  of  Utah,  with  rough  estimates  of  their  arable  areas,  will  only 


add  the  following  in  regard  to  the  small  section  in  the  northern  part 
visited  the  past  season : 

Weber  Valley,  which  is  drained  by  the  river  of  the  same  name,  is 
situated  in  the  gap  of  the  Wahsatch  Mountains  made  by  the  river  in 
its  passage  through  them,  and  is  on  the  line  of  the  Union  Pacific  Eail- 
road.  The  valley  proper  begins  at  Weber  Station,  and  extends  west- 
ward to  the  Devil's  Gate,  a  distance  of  some  eleven  or  twelve  miles, 
varying  in  width  from  three-fourths  of  a  mile  to  two  miles.  The  land  is 
good,  and  most  of  it  can  easily  be  irrigated,  the  supply  of  water  being 
ample  for  this  j)urpose  throughout  the  growing  season.  At  the  west 
end  of  the  valley,  on  the  north  side,  there  is  a  narrow  terrace  some  12 
or  15  feet  higher  than  the  bottoms,  and  four  or  five  miles  long  by  half 
a  mile  or  less  in  width.  The  mountains  on  the  south  side  have  some 
pine  timber  near  the  summit,  sufficient  for  the  use  of  the  valley  popu- 
lation, but,  as  is  generally  the  case  in  this  region,  somewhat  difficult  to 
obtain.  The  mountains  on  the  north  side  are  mostly  destitute  of  timber 
in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  the  valley.  Grazing  is  tolerably  good  on 
the  foot-hills  and  mountain  slopes  to  the  south.  Wheat  is  the  principal 
crop  raised,  though  the  other  cereals,  even  some  varieties  of  Indian 
corn,  will  grow.  Such  fruits  as  apples,  cherries,  currants,  raspberries, 
strawberries,  &c.,  can  be  ijroduced. 

The  river,  at  the  time  of  our  visit,  (June  1  to  9,)  was  quite  full,  being, 
at  the  point  where  the  estimated  measurement  was  made,  about  sixty 
feet  wide  and  from  one  to  three  feet  deep,  flowing  quite  rapidly,  at  least 
four  miles  per  hour. 

Uintah  Valley  commences  just  below  the  mouth  of  Devil's  Gate  Canon, 
and  is  in  fact  but  a  part  of  Salt  Lake  Valley,  extending  up  into  a  bend 
of  the  mountains.  It  is,  in  other  words,  the  broad  pathway  that  Weber 
Eiver  has  cut  through  the  sloping  plain  of  Salt  Lake  Valley.  It  con- 
tinues to  the  vicinity  of  Ogden,  a  distance  of  some  nine  or  ten  miles, 
varying  in  width  from  a  half  to  two  miles,  and  all  susceptible  of  irriga- 
tion. The  fall  of  the  stream  through  this  valley  is  much  more  than 
would  be  supposed,  judging  it  by  the  eye,  being,  according  to  the  rail- 
road survey,  220  feet  in  the  ten  miles,  or  22  feet  to  the  mile,  which  shows 
that  the  water  can  be  carried  up  to  the  higher  terraces  which  lie  on  the 
south  side  near  Ogden.  The  rapidly  increasing  importance  of  this  point 
will  probably,  ere  long,  cause  irrigation  to  be  carried  on  here  upon  a 
much  larger  scale  than  at  present;  for  the  soil  is  very  rich,  and  every 
spot  that  can  be  irrigated  will  become  valuable  when  the  drawbacks  to 
its  settlement  are  removed. 

The  town  of  Ogden  is  situated  along  the  escarpment  of  a  terrace  some 
50  or  CO  feet  high,  one  part  built  on  the  lower  level,  the  other  part  on 
the  upper  level.  The  soil  of  this  terrace  is  a  very  light  sandy  loam,  and 
when  supplied  with  an  abundance  of  water  will  x>roduce  very  fine  veg- 
etables. The  town  is  tolerably  well  supplied  with  water,  chiefly,  I 
believe,  from  Ogden  Creek,  which  crosses  the  plain  a  little  north  of  this 

A  number  of  shade-trees  planted  along  the  streets  by  the  side  of 
the  ditches  have  grown  steadily,  until  now  some  are  over  one  foot  in 
diameter,  quite  thrifty,  and  furnishing  a  very  agreeable  shade  during 
the  hot  days  of  summer.  There  is,  in  fact,  no  other  trouble  to  be  ex- 
perienced in  growing  lorest-trees  here  than,  the  planting  and  ditching 
for  water,  and  this  need  not  be  supplied  after  they  have  had  a  firm  and 
vigorous  growth  for  three  or  four  years.  The  cotton-wood,  mulberry, 
locust,  {23setulacacia,)  Lombardy  poplar,  willow,  and  many  other  varie- 
ties can  be  raised  without  ditficulty.    I  noticed  in  Salt  Lake  City  locust, 


ailanthus,  and  walnut  growing  finely  near  the  ditclies.  Whether  the 
hard  woods,  such  as  white-oak,  hickory,  beech,  &g.,  could  be  grown  to 
a  size  that  would  make  them  valuable  is  not  known,  but  certainly  it  is 
of  suificient  importance  to  induce  the  citizens  or  the  territorial  authori- 
ties to  make  a  thorough  experiment. 

It  may  appear  absurd  to  say  that  after  you  once  enter  upon  the  plains 
going  west,  you  cannot  find  sufficient  hard  wood  in  that  portion  of  the 
ITnited  States  lying  between  there  and  the  Pacific  Ocean  to  make  an 
ax-helve.  Yet  this  is  no  great  exaggeration.  Go  into  the  wagon-shops 
of  San  Francisco  and  Sacramento  and  ask  the  workmen  there  to  tell 
you  where  they  procure  the  timber  for  their  hubs,  spokes,  fellies, 
tongues,  axles,  &c.,  and  they  will  tell  you  from  the  East.  I  had  sup- 
posed that  here,  or  at  least  in  Oregon,  an  abundance  of  suitable  timber 
for  wagons,  agricultural  implements,  &c.,  could  be  obtained,  but  the 
oak  and  ash  is  not  used,  as  it  is  unfit  on  account  of  its  want  of  tenacity 
or  "brashness."  Traverse  the  entire  Eocky  Mountain  region  from  Mon- 
tana to  the  Mexican  line,  and  this  will  be  found  true  without  any  excep- 
tions. The  climate  is  incompatible  with  the  production  of  such  wood 
when  left  to  the  supply  of  moisture  nature  gives.  "What  difference  a 
more  abundant  supply  would  have  I  am  not  able  to  say;  and  though  I 
have  some  doubts  in  regard  to  the  production  of  timber  adapted  to 
these  purposes,  yet  it  should  only  be  admitted  after  a  fair  and  thorough 
trial  had  been  made. 

Perhaps  it  would  be  well  for  the  General  Government,  under  either 
the  Agricultural  Department,  Commissioner  of  the  Laud-Office,  or 
commanders  of  military  posts,  to  make  a  trial  in  this  direction  at  one  or 
two  important  points  in  the  West;  for,  if  I  am  correct  in  the  assertion 
made — and  I  certainly  have  no  desire  to  misrepresent,  but  have  made 
the  statement  after  a  somewhat  careful  inquiry — it  is  a  matter  of  great 
importance  to  that  section  of  our  country. 

From  Ogden  the  level  bottoms  or  lake-shore  lands  spread  out  north 
and  west,  forming  a  triangular  area.  Westward  to  the  lake-shore  is 
about  twelve  miles,  and  north  to  the  "Hot  Springs"  about  the  same 
distance.  At  this  latter  point  the  arm  of  Bear  Elver  Bay  and  a  spur 
of  the  mountain  approach  quite  near  each  other,  rendering  the  shore- 
level  narrow.  This  triangular  area  contains  about  forty  or  fifty  thou- 
sand acres,  thei  greater  portion  of  which  is  susceptible  of  cultivation, 
and  is  rich  and  productive.  Already  a  large  portion  of  it  is  occupied 
and  under  cultivation,  and,  although  not  farmed  with  that  care  required 
to  bring  forth  its  strength,  yields  remunerative  crops.  And  notwith- 
standing the  soil  is  a  loose,  sandy  loam,  which  would  seem  to  render  it 
permeable  by  the  extremely  brackish  water  of  the  lake,  yet  where  not 
absolutely  covered  with  saline  incrustations,  this  part  of  the  shore-level 
can  be  cultivated  within  a  short  distance  of  the  water's  edge.  Even 
the  tongues  of  land  which  run  in  between  the  heavy  saline  deposits 
make  very  good  farming  land  when  irrigated.  On  some  of  these  there 
are  already  considerable  settlements,  from  one  of  which  we  i)rocured  our 
vegetables  and  a  supply  of  excellent  strawberries  while  encamped  near 
the  Hot  Springs,  where  we  remained  three  days  waiting  for  some  mem- 
bers of  the  party. 

Not  only  do  the  cereals — including  a  tolerably  fair  variety  of  corn — 
grow  well  here,  but  fruits  also,  such  as  apples,  pears,  peaches,  apricots, 
cherries,  grapes,  currants,  strawberries,  &c.,  can  be  raised  in  abund- 
ance and  with  comparative  ease,  the  only  drawback  being  occasional 
untimely  frosts  and  the  truly  "hateful  grasshopper." 
It  is  the  opinion  of  many  of  the  old  settlers  that  the  climate  is  gradu- 


ally  growing  milder.  Tbey  found  this  opinion  on  the  fact  that  when 
first  settled  it  was  almost  impossible  to  mature  the  tenderer  fruits,  as 
I)eaches;  whereas,  at  present,  they  experience  but  little  difficulty  in  this 
respect.  But  this  may  be  owing,  in  a  great  measure,  to  the  strength 
acquired  by  the  trees  by  age,  and  to  a  partial  acclimation.  And  the 
same  thing  is  doubtless  true  here  that  has  been  found  true  in  Califor- 
nia, that  while  the  trees  are  young  they  require  much  more  irrigation 
than  after  they  have  come  into  bearing;  and  depriving  them  of  water 
I)robably  renders  them  less  liable  to  be  affected  by  frost.  It  has  been 
ascertained  in  California  that  orchards  and  vineyards  produce  better 
fruit  and  more  certain  crops  without  irrigation,  after  they  have  come 
into  bearing,  than  with  it ;  hence  the  practice  of  watering  them  is  being 
generally  abandoned. 

From  the  Hot  Springs  to  Brigham  City  there  is  a  narrow  strip  of 
arable  land,  which,  though  ascending  toward  the  mountains  on  the  east, 
and  being  somewhat  broken  and  irregular,  yet  can  nearly  all  be  irrigated 
from  the  little  streams  which  flow  down  from  the  mountain.  The  soil 
is  quite  good,  and  appears  to  be  especially  adapted  to  the  cereals  and 
grass.  Advancing  northward  toward  Brigham  City,  the  area  widens  as 
the  shore-line  of  the  bay  bends  westward. 

Around  Corinne,  at  the  mouth  of  Bear  Eiver,  and  at  the  termination 
of  Malade  "V  alley,  is  a  broad,  level  expanse,  probably  some  ten  or  twelve 
miles  wide  east  and  west  by  fifteen  miles  long  north  and  south.  On 
this  area  there  are  some  considerable  tracts  crusted  over  with  saline  or 
alkaline  deposits.  A  portion  of  the  area  east  of  the  river,  which  is  much 
less  than  that  on  the  west  side,  can  be  irrigated  from  Box-Elder  Creek, 
which  comes  down  from  the  northeast  through  Box-Elder  Canon.  As 
suggested  in  a  former  report,  from  information  received,  for  at  that  time 
1  had  not  visited  this  valley,  the  level  area  around  Corinne  might  be 
irrigated  from  Bear  Eiver  by  commencing  a  canal  at  the  mouth  of  the 
caiion  where  the  river  bursts  through  the  hills.  A  move  is  now  on  foot 
for  this  purpose,  and  a  bill  has  been  introduced  into  Congress  to  obtain 
a  grant  of  laud  in  aid  thereof.  I  do  not  know  the  amount  of  land  which 
can  be  redeemed  by  such  a  canal,  but  I  judge  not  less  than  50,000  acres, 
and  perhaps  as  much  as  75,000  acres.  I  crossed  this  tract  the  past 
season  in  both  directions,  and  although  there  are  some  strongly  alkaline 
spots,  yet  I  believe  there  are  none  but  which  may  ultimately  be  purged 
and  rendered  productive;  and  if  properly  irrigated  the  entire  area  may 
be  rendered  excellent  agricultural  lands.  West  of  this,  as  we  near  the 
Promontory,  tliere  is  an  area  of  considerable  breadth  as  desolate  as  can 
well  be  imagined.  The  portion  which  is  not  covered  with  white  incrusta- 
tions looks  as  though  it  had  been  swept  over  by  a  flood  of  some  scalding 
chemical  which  had  the  x>ower  to  annihilate  every  germ  of  vegetable 
life.  I  see  no  means  of  redeeming  this  gloomy  desert  belt,  and  I  am 
inclined  to  think  there  is  somewhere  here  an  ai)parently  inexhaustible 
source  of  this  valine  matter,  so  that  even  if  there  was  water  to  irrigate 
it,  it  could  not  be  purged  of  this  matter  so  as  to  render  it  suitable  for 
agricultural  purposes. 

All  that  portion  of  Utah  north  of  Salt  Lake  and  west  of  Malade  Val- 
ley, so. far  as  I  have  seen  it,  is  generally  barren,  with  no  apparent  means 
of  irrigating  to  an  extent  sufficient  to  produce  any  useful  crops. 
Whether  artesian  wells  would  prove  a  success  here  or  not  I  do  not 
know ;  but  unless  water  can  be  obtained  by  this  means,  most  of  this 
section  is  doomed  to  sterility  until  some  natural  change  shall  produce  a 
large  annual  rain  precipitation. 

Malade  Valley,  from  the  point  where  it  connects  with  Bear  Eiver 


Valley  northward,  is  some  twenty-five  miles  long  and  lias  an  average 
width  of  six  or  seven  miles.  It  is  quite  fertile  and  tolerably  well  grassed 
over,  aftbrding  excellent  pasturage.  Stock-raising  End  the  dairy  busi- 
ness appear  to  be  the  chief  occupation  of  the  settlements  that  have 
been  made  here.  Malade  Eiver,  together  with  the  little  rills  which  flow 
down  from  the  elevated  ridges  on  each  side,  will  i)robably  be  sufficient 
to  irrigate  most  of  the  level  land.  There  is  one  point  near  the  upper 
end  of  this  valley  where  the  cattle  appear  to  be  subject  to  a  fatal  disease, 
arising  from  some  local  cause.  Whether  this  is  permanently  the  case 
or  not  I  am  unable  to  say.  I  noticed,  in  passing  through  this  part  of  the 
valley,  quite  a  number  of  dead  cattle,  and  understood  that  ox-teams 
stopping  here  for  a  short  time  have  sometimes  suffered  severely,  but 
was  unable  to  obtain  any  satisfactory  information  as  to  the  probable 
cause  of  this.  But  even  if  this  information  is  correct  it  is  limited  in 
area  and  does  not  apply  to  the  greater  portion  of  the  valley,  especially 
the  lower  half. 


Erom  the  point  where  we  left  Salt  Lake  until  we  reached  the  south- 
ern boundary  line  of  Montana,  I  shall  confine  my  notes  on  the  agricul- 
tural resources  of  this  section  to  the  immediate  line  of  our  route,  as  I 
obtained  but  very  little  information  respecting  the  country  either  to  the 
right  or  left.  And  perhaps  I  cannot  do  better  than  to  give  my  original 
field-notes,  which  were  generally  written  while  the  sections  described 
were  in  view. 

Leaving  our  camp  near  the  Hot  Springs,  about  ten  miles  north  of  Og- 
den,  for  the  first  five  or  six  miles  we  traveled  up  the  level  shore  of  the 
bay,  which,  until  we  pass  Willard  City  for  a  mile  or  two,  is  tolerably 
well  settled.  About  Willard  City  the  ground  rises  somewhat,  and- is 
more  uneven  and  bouldery  than  usual  in  this  valley.  There  are  some 
good  farms  here,  which  slope  off  below  the  town  toward  the  bay.  A 
plain,  generally  level,  extends  around  the  curved  shore-line  of  the  bay, 
from  our  last  camp  to  a  point  some  distance  west  of  Corinue,  in  a  direct 
line,  some  twenty  or  twenty-five  miles.  Some  areas  near  the  bay  and  in 
the  northwest  part  near  Corinne,  and  one  spot  immediately  west  of 
Brigham  covered  with  w^hite  saline  incrustations  were  glittering  in  the 
clear  sunshine  as  we  passed.  The  mountains  sweep  around  this  area  in 
a  somewhat  semicircular  form,  gashed  here  and  there  by  complete  or  partial 
canons.  The  hills  on  the  north  and  northeast  are  beautifully  rounded, 
smooth,  and  covered  over  evenly  with  grass  and  artemisia,  here  and  there 
interrupted  by  little  thickets  of  green  bushes  or  areas  of  yellow  com- 
posite flowers. 

Brigham  City,  a  small  town  of  two  or  three  hundred  inhabitants,  is 
situated  near  the  mouth  of  Box  Elder  Canon,  on  a  ridge  or  terrace  con- 
siderably elevated,  which  appears  to  be  composed  of  a  sandy  soil  mixed 
with  coarse  gravel,  and  covered,  where  not  in  cultivation,  with  arte- 
misia. As  we  passed  over  this  terrace,  which  is  probably  two  hundred 
feet  above  the  shore-level,  I  noticed  irrigating  ditches  traversing  it  in 
various  directions ;  the  water  is  probably  brought  from  Box  Elder  Creek., 
Here,  turning  suddenly  around  a  long,  elevated,  and  smooth  terrace,  we- 
enter  Box  Elder  Carton,  which  extends  through  the  mountain,  in  a  north- 
east direction.  Ere  we  descended  to  the  level  of  the  creek  behind  this, 
terrace  we  had  a  splendid  view  of  the  country  over  which  we  had  passed.. 
Looking  back  we  could  see  the  entire  Salt  Lake  Yalley  spread  out  be- 
fore us  as  a  grand  panorama. 

16  G  s 


The  sides  of  the  caiion  consist  mostly  of  high,  steep,  but  smooth 
ronuded  hills,  with  occasional  spots  where  the  rocks  jut  out  from  the 
surface.  It  is  quite  tortuous  and  narrow,  affording  only  space  for  a 
wagon-road.  The  creek  rushes  through  it  with  considerable  impetu- 
osity, and  although  rather  small  sends  down  water  sufflcient  to  irrigate 
a  large  area  of  land  if  properly  husbanded.  The  ascent  is  somewhat 
rapid,  being  nearly  one  hundred  feet  to  the  mile.  After  moving  up  it 
for  seven  or  eight  miles  we  reach  a  beautiful  little  park,  nestling  cozily 
amid  the  mountains  which  surround  it  on  every  side ;  for  by  the  time 
we  reach  this  point  the  hills  have  grown  into  mountains.  This  park, 
which,  at  the  suggestion  of  Professor  Hay  den,  we  named  Box  Elder 
Park,  is  nearly  1,000  feet  above  the  level  of  Salt  Lake ;  is  somewhat 
circular  in  shape,  its  longest  diameter  about  four  miles  and  its  shortest 
about  three.  It  contains  an  area  of  some  ten  or  twelve  square  miles, 
most  of  which  can  be  irrigated  from  the  streams  that  traverse  it.  It 
has  three  different  levels,  the  upper  terrace,  which  embraces  the  larger 
Ijortion,  being  some  60  or  70  feet  above  the  next,  which  lies  along  the 
west  side,  and  along  the  border  of  which,  some '80  or  90  feet  lower,  runs 
Box  Elder  Creek.  Most  of  the  water  at  present  used  for  irrigating  the 
upper  and  chief  area  comes  from  a  very  large  sirring  in  the  southwest 
corner,  and  is  carried  round  three  sides.  Here  is  the  little  village  of 
Copenhagen,  containing  some  forty  or  fifty  families,  mostly  Danes. 
There  are  two  saw-mills,  which  are  furnished  with  logs  chiefly  from  the 
mountains  that  lie  to  the  southeast.  •  Fir  and  i)ine  are  the  only  kinds 
of  timber  obtained,  except  an  occasional  aspen.  The  lofty  hills  to  the 
south,  which  rest  against  a  background  of  rugged  mountains,  are  as 
smooth  as  a  carpet,  green  throughout,  varied  only  with  light  and  dark 
sbades,  with  here  and  there  a  tinge  of  brown,  which  fades  insensibly 
into  a  beautiful  green.  Kot  a  tree  and  scarcely  a  bush  is  to  be  seen 
upon  them.  To  the  southwest  the  sharper  lines  and  crests  of  the  ridges, 
as  they  extend  down  into  the  valley,  show  a  little  more  of  the  mountain 
feature.  They  are  also  covered  with  the  same  green  carpeting,  with 
darker  shades,  and  patches  of  shrubs  and  bushes  scattered  over  the 
steep  slopes.  Still  farther  toward  the  west  the  hills  grow  higher  and 
more  rugged,  with  sharper  outlines,  while  behind  them  a  loftier  range 
of  rugged,  snow-capped  mountains  shoots  up,  its  peaks  bristling  with 
firs  and  i)ines.  I  mention  these  facts  as  showing  a  very  striking  feature 
of  this  region,  to  wit,  the  general  absence  of  timber  or  arborescent  veg- 
etation of  any  kind  on  the  smooth  and  rounded  hills  and  ridges,  while 
Tuggedness,  as  a  general  thing,  is  accompanied  with  forest  growth. 

Passing  up  through  a  narrow,  but  not  rough  canon,  for  a  mile  or  two, 
we  entered  another  little  park  of  small  dimensions,  and  apparently  with- 
out Siiij  constant  running  stream  to  supply  it  with  water  for  irrigating 
purposes.  I  saw  quite  a  number  of  cattle  grazing  here,  but  there  is  no 

Moving  round  to  the  northeast  through  a  narrow,  winding  valley,  over 
rsome  smooth,  rolling  ridges,  we  entered  another  little  basin  about  one 
mile  and  a  half  wide  and  three  miles  long,  in  the  center  of  which  is  a 
large  pond  of  clear  water.  Here  we  saw  a  flock  of  sheep,  numbering 
about  four  thousand,  which  had  been  driven  from  some  distance  south 
in  order  to  find  pasturage,  which  here  is  good.  .  The  margins  of  this  lit- 
tle sheet  of  water  appeared  to  be  the  general  meeting-point  for  all  the 
snakes  of  this  region.  A  few  miles'  travel  through  a  narrow,  tortuous 
defile  brought  us  in  sight  of  Cache  Valley. 

The  short  notice  given  of  this  important  valley  in  my  report  of  last 
year,  although  wholly  from  information  received,  was  very  nearly  correct, 


varying  slightly  in  the  dimensions  only.  It  lies  north  and  south,  a 
portion  being  in  Utah  and  a  portion  in  Idaho,  though  the  boundary 
between  these  two  territories  does  not  appear  to  be  well  known  in  this  sec- 
tion. Its  length,  north  and  south,  is  about  sixty  miles,  and  its  width 
from  three  to  twelve,  averaging  about  seven  or  eight.  It  is  well  watered 
on  the  east  side  by  numerous  creeks  which  rush  down  from  the  Wah- 
satch  Mountains ',  the  northwest  portion  is  traversed  by  Bear  Eiver. 
Beginning  at  the  south  end  and  moving  northward  along  the  east  side 
we  arrive  at  these  streams  in  the  following  order :  Little  Bear  (or  Muddy) 
Eiver ;  eight  miles  farther,  Blacksmith's  Fork ;  one  mile  farther,  Spring 
Creek ;  two  and  a  half  miles  farther,  Logan's  Fork ;  eight  miles  farther. 
Summit  Creek ;  seven  miles  farther,  High  Creek  5  eight  miles  farther, 
Cub  Creek;  then  turning  northwest,  at  a  distance  often  miles  we 
reach  Bear  Eiver.  Along  the  road,  where  it  crosses  these  streams, 
there  is  generally  a  little  village,  the  entire  valley  containing  a  popula- 
tion of  some  four  or  five  thousand.  Logan  and  Smithfield  are  the  i)rin- 
cipal  vilages. 

A  little  south  of  Logan,  Brigham  Young,  at  the  time  of  our  visit, 
was  having  inclosed  a  considerable  area  of  land  for  grazing  purposes, 
where  he  is  introducing  some  improved  stock,  chiefly  Devonshire. 
Some  of  the  village  wards  also  have  land  here,  which  they  are  inclos- 
ing for  stock-raising.  Each  town  has  one  or  more  herds  of  cows,  which 
are  daily  driven  to  the  pasture  by  a  herder,  who  has  charge  of  them  •, 
for  example,  Logan  has  two  herds,  amounting  to  about  500 ;  Providence, 
one  of  275 ;  Millville,  one  of  200 ;  and  Smithfield,  one  of  300;  The 
area  of  land  under  cultivation  is  not  large,  not  exceeding  one-sixth  of 
the  area  of  the  valley;  but  this  is  in  part  owing  to  the  fact  that  stock- 
raising  is  the  principal  business,  the  valley  afiording,  especially  in  the 
northern  part,  some  excellent  grazing  fields.  Wheat  is  the  chief  crop 
raised,  the  variety  usually  sown  being  what  is  called  the  Taos  wheat ; 
club- wheat  is  also  used,  but  appears  to  require  richer  soil  and  more 
water  than  the  Taos  variety,  hence  it  is  not  generally  cultivated.  I 
noticed  some  Indian  corn  growing,  but  the  climate  is  rather  too  cold  for 
it.  1^0  fruit-trees,  so  far  as  I  could  ascertain,  have  yet  come  into  bear- 
ing, though  a  number  of  apple-trees,  and  some  ijear,  plum,  and  peach 
trees  have  been  planted.  Gooseberries  and  currants  appear  to  grow 
well  and  produce  an  abundance  of  fruit ;  the  native  currants,  when 
transplanted  and  cultivated,  make  fine,  large  bushes,  and  bear  abnndant 
crops.  Oats,  barley,  and  the  hardier  vegetables  can  be  grown  without 

But  a  serious  drawback  to  agricultural  progress  in  this  valley  is  the 
grasshopper  scourge.  At  the  time  of  our  visit  the  lower  half  of  the 
valley  was  literally  swarming  with  the  Calopienus  spretus,  or  "  hateful 
grasshopper."  ]!for  was  this  the  only  insect  pest  with  which  the  farmers 
of  this  valley  seem  to  be  troubled ;  for  throughout  its  entire  length,  the 
bushes  and  bunches  of  grass  were  often  seen  covered  with  "  locusts," 
probably  a  variety  of  the  Cicada  septemdecem.  I  noticed  these  insects 
so  abundant  in  some  places  that  hundreds  could  have  been  gathered 
from  a  single  bush  or  bunch  of  rye-grass.  In  the  northern  part  we  also 
encountered  the  la^rge  brown  "  cricket,"  Anahrus  simplex^  in  immense 

Bear  Eiver  is  situated  in  a  deep  narrow  valley  which  it  has  cut  through 
the  northern  part  of  the  valley  in  a  diagonal  direction  from  northeast  to 
southwest.  As  this  stream  affords  an  abundant  supply  of  water,  if  a 
canal  of  some  twelve  or  fifteen  miles  long  was  constructed  to  draw  off 
its  water,  a  large  area  of  the  northern  portion  of  the  valley,  which  i? 


without  small  streams,  miglit  be  irrigated,  aud  probably  as  much  as 
100,000  acres  added  to  the  cultivable  area.  Timber  iu  abundauce  can 
be  obtained  in  the  mountains  to  the  east,  and  good  building-stone  can 
be  obtained  near  Logan. 

In  passing  from  this  valley  northward  to  Marsh  Valley,  we  cross  the 
divide  between  the  Salt  Lake  Basin  and  the  Snake  Eiver  Basin,  yet  the 
dividing  water-shed  does  not  appear  to  interrupt  the  north  and  south 
direction  of  the  ridges  or  valleys,  and  we  only  knew  we  were  crossing 
the  divide  by  noticing,  after  passing  over  a  low,  broad,  transverse  ridge, 
running  from  the  mountains  on  the  east  to  those  on  the  west,  that  the 
direction  of  the  water  had  changed.  From  this  point  to  Carpenter's 
Stage  Station,  on  Marsh  Creek,  (a  tributary  of  Port  Neuf  Eiver,)  for 
most  of  the  way  we  passed  through  narrow  valleys,  and  over  low,  smooth, 
rounded  ridges,  generally  covered  with  artemisia,  and  without  water 
suificient  for  irrigating  even  the  small  areas  sufficiently  level  for  culti- 

Marsh  Valley  is  but  a  small  opening,  being  about  one  mile  wide  and 
four  or  five  miles  long.  It  is  covered  with  a  thick  sward  of  rich  nutri- 
tious grass,  and  will  afford  a  good  grazing  field  for  a  small  herd.  Some 
two  or  three  families  reside  here,  but  more  on  account  of  the  business 
resulting  from  the  travel  that  passes  here  than  for  the  purpose  of  farm- 
ing or  stock-raising. 

From  Marsh  Valley  to  the  Port  Ii^euf,  the  country  is  rolling  and  broken, 
but  not  rugged,  consisting  of  a  succession  of  rounded  hills  and  short 
ridges,  which  are  smotth,  without  trees  of  any  kind,  and  mostly  covered 
with  a  scattering  growth  of  stunted  artemisia.  Here  and  there  the 
dark  basaltic  rocks  show  themselves  above  the  surface. 

The  valley  of  the  Port  Neuf  is  a  narrow  winding  caiion,  the  greater 
portion  of  its  level  surface  consisting  of  a  bed  of  columnar  basalt.  At 
one  or  two  points  there  are  small  openings  sufficient  for  one  or  two  small 
farms ;  but  with  these  exceptions,  it  is  of  no  value  in  an  agricultural 
point  of  view.     This  valley  opens  into  the  broad  Snake  Eiver  Plain. 

As  I  shall  reserve  the  discussion  of  the  agricultural  capacity  of  this 
broad  plain  for  a  future  report,  I  will  continue  the  notes  of  our  immedi- 
ate route,  simply  stating  at  the  end  my  conclusion  in  regard  to  the  eas- 
tern portion  of  it. 

Leaving  the  banks  of  the  Port  Neuf  we  struck  across  the  plains  to 
Boss's  Fork.  The  plains  are  broad  and  generally  level,  and  very  dry. 
Between  these  two  jioints  there  is  but  one  small  stream;  therefore, 
unless  water  can  be  brought  from  Snake  Eiver,  which  is  some  twelve  or 
fourteen  miles  distant,  there  would  seem  to  be  no  chance  to  irrigate  it. 
The  mountains  to  the  right  recede  from  our  road  as  we  move  north,  so 
that  the  streams  would  be  compelled  to  flow  a  considerable  distance 
over  the  dry  plains.  At  this  point  the  three  prominent  and  somewhat 
noted  huttes,  which  lie  far  to  the  northwest,  come  into  view,  and  far 
beyond  them  the  snowy  crests  of  the  Salmon  Eiver  Eange  can  be  dimly 

The  soil  of  this  part  of  the  plain  is  good,  and  only  needs  water  to  ren- 
der it  very  productive  and  excellent  farming  land.  Boss's  Creek  is  a 
swift-running  stream  some  20  or  30  feet  wide,  and  affords  sufficient 
water  to  irrigate  some  three  or  four  thousand  acres  of  laud.  At  the  In- 
dian agency  which  is  established  here  some  attempts  in  this  direction 
have  been  made,  which  I  believe  have  been  attended  with  success. 

As  seen  from  the  point  where  the  road  crosses  this  stream,  the  coun- 
try to  the  north  and  west  is  mostly  an  open,  level  plain.    To  the  east 


arebigh,  smooth,  and  rounded  foot-liills,  behind  which  arise  loftier  mount- 
ains, from  which  the  snow  bad  not  disappeared  at  the  time  of  our  visit. 

From  here  we  moved  northeast  some  fifteen  or  sixteen  miles  to  Fort 
Hall,  not  the  old  Fort  Hall  of  the  maps,  situated  on  the  west  bank  of 
Snake  Eiver,  but  the  new  fort  built  east  of  the  river,  about  thirty  miles 
from  the  old  locality.  Traveling  up  the  little  stream  for  five  or  six 
miles  we  found  it  somewhat  closely  hemmed  in  by  the  hills,  yet  here 
and  there  affording  small  areas  of  level  bottom-land  covered  with  a  lux- 
uriant growth  of  grass.  The  rest  of  the  distance,  some  eight  or  ten 
miles,  was  taken  up  in  ascending  and  descending  the  lofty  foot-hill  we 
had  to  cross  to  reach  the  fort.  Here  we  had  one  of  the  finest  exhibi- 
tions I  had  seen  of  those  smooth,  peculiar  hills  which  look  so  much 
like  the  folds  in  a  lady's  dress.  This  comiDarison  may  appear  somewhat 
ludicrous ;  but  while  gazing  from  the  summit  of  this  ridge  on  the  end- 
less succession  of  the  smooth,  grassy  ridges  and  hills  piled  and  rolled 
together  to  form  the  large  ridge,  distance  giving  the  grassy  covering 
the  appearance  of  velvet  or  silk,  the  colors  of  the  folds  varying  as  if  by 
the  difference  in  reflection  of  the  light,  the  resemblance  to  the  folds  of 
rich  cloth  was  more  than  simply  fancy.  Over  an  area  of  perhaps  one 
hundred  square  miles  I  saw  but  three  or  four  trees,  standing  as  lonely 
remnants  of  the  forests  which  once  doubtless  covered  this  entire  area. 
It  is  evident  that  these  hills  and  ridges  were  once  rugged,  and  that  by 
the  action  of  water,  snow,  ice,  &c.,  the  rocks  have  gradually  been  worn 
down  until  the  surface  has  been  covered  with  the  triturated  debris,  thus 
giving  it  the  present  smooth  appearance.  That  these  rugged  spots 
which  remain  are  covered  with  forests  is  evident  to  all  who  have  trav- 
eled over  the  Eocky  Mountain  region ;  and  I  think  we  have  sufficient 
evidence  to  show  that  these  now  smooth  ridges,  before  their  former 
ruggedness  was  worn  down,  were  also  covered  with  forests  of  pine  and 
fir.  Here  I  also  observed  that  there  was  presented  in  a  marked  degree 
that  peculiar  arrangement  of  colors  belonging  to  elevated  regions;  one 
side  and  the  top  of  each  of  the  descending  ridges  being  pale-green  or 
gray,  while  the  other  side  or  part  of  it  was  of  a  deep  grassy-green. 
These  variations  tell  us  very  plainly  the  direction  of  the  prevailing 
winter  winds  -,  for  the  greener  spots  mark  the  place  where  the  snow 
lay  the  longest,  showing  thereby  that  they  are  on  the  side  opposite  that 
from  which  the  wind  came. 

Fort  Hall  is  situated  among  the  mountain  foot-hills  on  a  little  stream 
that  makes  its  way  northwest  to  Snake  Eiver.  A  small  area  of  ground 
may  be  irrigated  around  it,  probably  not  more  than  five  or  six  hundred 
acres.  Th6  ofl&cers  in  charge  of  the  post  are  making  some  experiments 
in  horticulture  and  agriculture,  and  though  laboring  under  many  dis- 
advantages, the  vegetables  and  cereals  I  saw  growing  there  at  the  time 
of  our  visit  indicate  that  wheat,  oats,  potatoes,  cabbages,  turnips,  and 
pease  can  be  produced  without  any  serious  difficulty  on  account  of  the 
sev^erity  of  the  climate. 

The  dryness  of  the  air  was  found  to  be  very  great  here,  the  difference 
between  the  wet  and  dry  bulb  reaching,  in  some  cases,  34°,  and  stand- 
ing generally  each  day  during  our  stay  at  from  25°  to  28°.  During  the 
middle  portion  of  the  day  we  found  the  rays  of  the  sun  hot  and  oppress- 
ive when  there  was  no  breeze  blowing. 

As  a  general  thing  timber  is  scarce  throughout  this  entire  region, 
that  of  value  for  lumber  being  found  only  on  those  mountains  whose 
summits  are  covered  with  snow  all  or  a  great  part  of  the  summer. 
And  here,  as  elsewhere  in  the  whole  Eocky  Mountain  belt,  when  the 
forest  is  once  destroyed  it  is  never  restored.    Most  of  the  best  lumber 


used  in  the  buildings  at  the  fort,  as  I  am  informed  by  Captain  Wilson, 
the  polite  oflicer  in  charge  of  the  fort,  was  brought  from  Truckee,  Cali- 
fornia, and  most  of  the  other  sawed  lumber  from  Corinne.  About  fifteen 
miles  to  the  southeast  some  tolerably  good  pine  and  fir  timber  can  be 
obtained  in  the  mountains. 

Leaving  the  fort  we  traveled  northwest  down  the  valley  for  a  few 
miles,  to  where  it  opens  into  the  Snake  Eiver  Plain.  This  plain  on  the 
east  side  of  the  river  is  here  somewhat  interrupted  by  sand  dunes, 
which  have  been  piled  up  by  the  wind,  reminding  one  very  much  of 
those  along  the  southern  shore  of  Lake  Michigan,  a  little  east  of  Chi- 
cago. Some  of  these  were  of  considerable  size,  some  entirely  bare,  but 
as  a  general  thing  they  were  covered  with  a  scanty  growth  of  such 
plants  as  covered  the  surrounding  plain. 

Blackfoot  Fork,  which  comes  in  here  from  the  northeast,  at  the  time 
we  crossed  it  contained  a  considerable  volume  of  water,  sufficient  to 
irrigate  several  thousand  acres  of  the  level  plain  through  which  it  runs. 
At  this  point  it  is  some  ten  or  twelve  yards  in  width,  and  ayeraged 
about  three  feet  in  depth,  but  on  my  return,  a  month  later,  the  volume 
of  water  had  decreased  at  .least  one-half.  The  hills  to  our  right  showed 
very  distinctly  the  direction  and  force  of  the  wind,  which  at  certain 
seasons  of  the  year  must  be  quite  severe.  The  mountains  to  the  east 
recede,  and  appear  to  be  lower  than  those  farther  south. 

After  crossing  this  stream  we  entered  upon  a  broad,  open  plain,  which 
is  an  almost  uninterrupted  level,  covered  with  grass  and  sage-bushes. 
Eleven  miles  brought  us  to  a  small  stream  called  Sandy  Creek,  which 
runs  in  from  the  northeast.  On  each  side  of  it,  for  a  short  distance,  are 
heavy  accumulations  of  sand,  which  have  been  blown  or  washed  into 
rounded  ridges  and  gradually  flattened.  Yet  these  sandy  points  are 
mostly  covered  with  ranker  vegetation  than  the  surrounding  level.  The 
hills  to  our  right,  while  receding-  from  our  course,  decreased  in  height, 
sending  downward  toward  the  west  long,  smooth  slopes  furrowed  with 
shallow  ravines,  often  so  regular  and  straight  as  to  remind  one  of  the 
"  lands"  in  the  wheat-fields  of  Pennsylvania.  But  all  around,  as  far  as 
the  eye  could  reach,  were  treeless  mountains,  hills,  and  plain,  bare,  with- 
out a  grove  beneath  which  a  shelter  might  be  found  from  the  rays  of 
the  sun,  nothing  to  remind  us  of  arborescent  vegetation  except  the  little 
fringe  of  willows  and  cotton-woods  that  marked  to  our  left  the  course 
of  Snake  Eiver. 

From  Sandy  Creek  to  Taylor's  Bridge,  at  the  crossing  of  Snake  Eiver, 
the  broad,  level  bottom  is  composed  of  a  rich  sandy  loam  that  needs  but 
the  addition  of  water  to  render  it  most  excellent  farming  land.  This 
bottom,  on  the  east  side,  is  some  six  or  eight  miles  wide,  and  stands  at 
a  very  moderate  height  above  the  ordinary  water-level  of  the  river.  It 
is  flanked  on  the  east  by  a  terrace  some  fifteen  or  twenty  feet  above  the 

At  the  time  we  crossed  the  river,  going  north,  it  was  quite  full,  and 
rushed  madly  through  and  over  the  basaltic  rocks  that  at  this  point  line 
its  channel.  The  average  width  is  about  one  hundred  and  forty  -yards, 
and  the  average  volume  of  water  it  sends  down  is  probably  3  feet 
deep  by  400  feet  wide,  running  at  the  rate  of  4  feet  per  second,  making 
4,800  cubic  feet  per  second.  At  the  time  we  first  crossed  it,  (June  24,) 
the  volume  of  water  was  more  than  double  this,  but  on  my  return,  nearly 
a  month  later,  it  did  not  exceed  the  estimate  I  have  given.  This  amount 
of  water  will  irrigate  nearly  a  thousand  square  miles  of  land  sufficiently 
for  ordinary  crops,  such  as  the  cereals.  And  as  the  general  level  is  not 
far  above  the  average  water-level,  the  canals  need  not  be  of  very,  great 
length,  and  therefore  the  water  that  returns  to  the  channel  can  be  used 


again  aud  again,  thus  increasing  the  area  that  may  be  rendered  product- 
ive by  it. 

From  th  is  point  we  could  see  the  sh  arp  granite  spires  of  the  Three  Teton  s, 
so?De  thirty  or  forty  miles  to  the  northeast,  standing  like  grim  sentinels, 
guarding  the  broad  desert  plain  that  surrounds  their  base.  While 
encamped  near  the  bridge,  quite  a  rain-storm  came  up  from  the  southeast. 
A  few  short,  stunted  cedars,  of  considerable  size,  grow  along  the  banks 
of  the  stream  wherever  the  basaltic  rocks  come  fco  the  surface. 

Judgiug  from  the  number  of  returning  wagons  we  met  from  day  to 
day,  the  freight  from  Coriune  to  Montana  must  be  large,  but  much  of 
this  business  will  be  cut  off  when  the  Northern  Pacific  Eailroad  is 
finished.  Yet  I  think  a  railroad  from  Helena  to  Salt  Lake  Valley  would 
ultimately  pay ;  for  if  Snake  River  Valley  was  irrigated,  as  it  might  be,  it 
would  support  a  large  population,  and  such  a  road  would  give  Montana, 
and  all  this  region,  the  advantage  of  both  roads,  thus  bringing  them  in 

Having  crossed  the  river,  we  moved  up  the  west  side  over  the  margin 
of  the  broad  plain,  which  here  spreads  out  to  the  west  thirty  or  forty 
miles,  apparently  as  level  as  a  floor.  The  soil  is  good,  aud  the  sur- 
face is  pretty  well  covered  with  a  mixed  vegetation,  but  nothing  larger 
than  sage-bushes.  As  we  moved  northward,  the  mountains,  which  for 
a  day  or  two  had  been  dimly  visible  in  front  of  us,  began  to  loom  up  in 
formidable  proportions,  and,  when  we  reached  Market  Lake,  appeared 
to  sweep  around  us  in  a  semicircle,  at  a  distance  of  forty  or  fifty 
miles.  Some  fifteen  or  twenty  miles  to  the  east  we  noticed  two 
large  huttes  rising  up  abruptly  from  the  plain,  and  having  much 
the  appearance  of  craters  of  extinct  volcanoes^,  which  they  probably 
are,  as  this  entire  region  seems  to  be  underlaid  with  basaft.  But  on 
this  point  full  information  will  doubtless  be  found  in  Professor  Hayden's 
report,  to  which  this  is  appended.  The  three  buttes  seen  to  our  left  at 
Ross's  Pork  were  now  distinctly  visible  to  the  southwest.  The  entire 
width  of  Snake  River  Plain,  along  this  portion  of  it,  measuring  east  and 
west,  from  mountain  to  mountain,  is  about  eighty  miles.  The  river  evi- 
dently overflows  a  portion  of  the  plain  here  when  there  is  a  flood,  and  the 
water  which  is  left  in  the  depressions  forms  the  lakes,  as  they  are  called, 
but  which  are  really  but  large  ponds.  Market  Lake  is  said  to  have  re- 
ceived its  name  from  the  following  circumstance :  Formerly,  at  a  cer- 
tain season  of  the  year,  buffalo,  deer,  antelope,  and  other  species  of 
game  were  accustomed  to  congregate  here  probably  on  account  of  saline 
matter  deposited ;  and  the  hunters,  when  they  found  game  scarce  in 
other  sections,  would  remark  to  each  other,  "  Let  us  go  to  the  market." 
There  is  now  a  stage-station  here,  around  which  I  noticed  a  large  herd 
of  cattle  grazing,  while  at  some  distance  out  on  the  plain  a  number  of 
antelopes  could  be  seen  quietly  feeding. 

Soon  after  we  had  pitched  our  tents,  the  mosquitoes  began  to  appear 
in  vast  swarms,  and  before  sunset  the  numbers  increased  to  such  an 
extent  that  the  air  was  almost  black  with  them,  but  soon  after  night- 
fall all  had  disappeared. 

Here  we  left  the  river  and  struck  northward  across  the  plains  for  the 
mountains.  After  traveling  two  or  three  miles  we  entered  upon  a  broad, 
rough,  slightly  elevated  ridge,  composed  of  broken  basalt,  which  has 
been  elevated  above  the  general  level.  This  broad  ridge,  which  does 
not  have  an  elevation  of  more  than  forty  or  fifty  feet,  covers  an  area  oj? 
about  ten  miles  square,  and,  as  there  is  no  means  of  bringing  water  upon, 
it,  it  must  remain  unfit  for  cultivation.  It  is  covered  throughout  with  a 
scattering  growth  of  gnarled  sage-bushes. 


After  leaving  this  we  entered  upon  a  dry  desert  tract,  but  sparsely 
covered  with  stunted  artemisia.  The  sand  in  some  i^laces  was  very  deep, 
and  caused  the  wagons  to  drag  heavily.  This  continued  until  we  reached 
Kaoias  Creek,  and  even  there  the  sand  is  often  deep,  and  in  some  places 
cast  up  in  long,  low,  rolling  ridges.  A  few  cotton- woods  remain  on  the 
bank  of  this  stream,  but  the  bordering  country  has  the  most  barren  as- 
spect  of  any  that  we  have  seen.  From  this  point  to  the  mountains, 
some  twenty-five  miles  distant,  which  form  the  dividing  line  between 
Idaho  and  Montana,  the  character  of  the  country  was  much  the  same  as 
that  just  described. 

As  we  come  near  the  foot  of  the  range,  the  land  begins  to  rise  graduallj'', 
and  is  much  better  grassed  than  that  we  had  passed  over  during  the 
two  previous  days,  and  the  occasional  little  streams  that  flow  down  will 
afford  a  means  of  irrigating  small  areas.  Bat  I  think  the  climate  is 
quite  severe,  and  that  only  the  hardiest  cereals  and  vegetables  can  be 
grown ;  but  as  there  are  no  settlements  here,  no  experiments  in  this 
direction  have  been  made. 



Montana,  with  the  exception  of  Alaska,  is  the  most  recently  organized 
Territory  of  the  United  States.  Embracing  that  region  lying  between  the 
forty-fifth  and  forty-ninth  parallels  of  north  latitude  and  one  hundred  and 
fourth  and  one  hundred  and  sixteenth  meridians  of  west  longitude,  it 
contains  an  area  of  143,776  square  miles  or  92,016,640  acres,  extending 
from  east  to  west  about  five  hundred  and  fifty  miles,  and  from  north 
to  south  about  two  hundred  and  eighty  miles.  It  is  separated  into  two 
very  unequal  areas  by  the  dividing  range  of  the  Eocky  Mountains, 
which  forms  the  southwestern  boundary  from  the  west  line  of  Wyoming 
to  the  intersection  of  45^"  40'  north  latitude  and  the  one  hundred  and 
fourteenth  meridian.  Here  it  suddenly  bends  eastward  for  some  dis- 
tance, and  then  runs  north  about  twenty  degrees  west  to  the  northern 
boundary  of  the  Territory.  About  one-fifth  of  the  entire  area  belongs 
to  the  Pacific  slope,  being  drained  by  the  head-waters  of  the  Columbia, 
and  four-fifths  to  the  Atlantic  slope,  being  drained  by  the  Missouri  and 
its  tributaries.  Extending  from  the  mouth  of  the  Yellowstone  to  the 
summit  of  the  Bitter-Eoot  Eauge,  about  two-fifths  belong  to  the  mount- 
ain region,  three-filths  consisting  of  broad,  open  plains  lying  east  of  the 
Eocky  Mountain  Eange.  The  mountain  belt,  which  forms  a  broad  mar- 
gin along  the  western  end,  has  probably  an  average  width  (direct  meas- 
urement from  the  summit  of  the  Bitter-Eoot  Eange  to  the  east  flank  of 
the  Eocky  Mountains)  of  one  hundred  and  seventy-five  miles,  running 
northwest  j)arallel  to  the  western  boundary.  Besides  these  two  leading 
ranges  and  their  interlocking  spurs  on  the  western  slope,  there  are  some 
minor  ranges  on  the  eastern  side,  which  though  comparatively  small  in 
extent  are  important  in  respect  to  the  influence  they  have  upon  the 
course  of  the  water-drainage  and  the  form  and  direction  of  the  prin- 
cipal valleys.  In  the  northwest  corner  of  Wyoming,  near  the  point 
where  the  dividing  range  makes  the  western  bend  and  passes  out  of 
this  Territory,  is  what  appears  to  be  the  great  mountain  nucleus  of  this 

*  The  substance  of  this  chapter  has  been  furnished  the  Agricultural  Department, 
and  "will  appear  in  the  Report  of  that  Department  for  1871. 


region.  Here  the  Big  Horn,  Yellowstone,  Madison,  Snake,  and  Green 
EiVers  liave  their  origin.  From  this  mountain  center  a  number  of 
short  ranges  run  northward,  giving  direction  to  a  number  of  streams,, 
and  appearing  like  evidences  of  the  abortive  efforts  of  the  elevating 
force  to  keep  up  its  direct  course.  Along  the  southern  border  the  Snow 
Mountains — the  northern  extension  of  the  Big  Horn  Eauge — penetrate 
for  a  short  distance  into  the  Territory,  compelling  the  Yellowstone  to 
make  a  grand  detour  in  order  to  sweep  around  the  northern  flank.  In 
the  central  portion  are  the  Belt,  Judith,  and  High  wood  Mountains, 
forming  an  irregular  group  of  short  and  broken  ranges,  around  whicli 
the  Missouri  sweeps  to  the  northward  before  entering  upon  its  long, 
eastward  stretch.  These  also  have  a  central  nucleus  situated  in  the 
western  part  of  Meagher  County,  where  the  Musselshell,  Judith,  Deep, 
and  Shields  Elvers  take  their  .rise.  North  of  the  Missouri  Eiver  the  plain 
is  interrupted  only  by  Bear's  Paw,  the  Little  Eockies,  and  occasional 

As  a  general  thing  the  mountains  of  this  section  are  less  rugged  than 
in  the  Colorado  group ;  although  here  and  there  are  sharp,  angular  peaks, 
yet  as  a  general  rule,  instead  of  the  rocky,  jagged  sides  and  serrated^ 
crests,  there  are  smootli  slopes  and  rounded  outlines.  The  elevation  of 
both  mountains  and  valleys,  as  will  be  seen  from  the  list  of  elevations 
presented  below,  is  much  less  than  that  of  the  great  mountain  belt  of 
Colorado  and  Wyoming,  and  even  that  of  New  Mexico,  Utah,  and  Nevada. 
But  before  presenting  these  statistics,  I  would  call  attention  to  the  re- 
markable bend  of  the  chief  range  at  the  southwest  angle  of  the  Terri- 
tory. Traversing  as  it  does  three  sides  of  a  trapezium,  it  gives  both  to 
the  eastern  and  western  basin  the  form  of  a  ciil  de  sac,  the  one  inclosing 
the  head-waters  of  Clark's  Fork  of  the  Columbia,  and  the  other  the  trib- 
utaries of  the  Jefferson.  The  former  descends  as  we  move  to  the  north- 
west, while  the  latter  descends  toward  the  northeast.  The  dividing 
range,  growing  lower  and  lower  from  its  entering  angle,  does  not  resume 
its  usual  altitude  until  it  approaches  the  northern  boundary  of  the  Ter- 

The  following  list  of  elevations,  chiefly  along  aline  running  east  and 
west  near  the  middle  of  the  Territory,  will  enable  us  to  form  a  pretty  good 
idea  of  the  general  elevation. 



Fort  Union,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Yellowstone 2, 022 

Trading  Post,  on  Milk  Eiver.    2, 388 

Fort  Benton 2^  780 

Forks  of  Sun  Eiver 4, 114 

Lewis  and  Clark^s  Pass 6, 519 

Blackfoot  Fork,  near  the  mouth  of  Salmon  Trout  Creek 3, 966 

Blackfoot  Fork,  near  its  junction  with  Hell  Gate  Eiver 3,  247 

Missoula  Eiver,  near  the  mouth  of  St.  Eegis  de  Borgia 2, 897 

Summit  of  Coeur  de  Alene  Mountains,  at  Ooeur  de  Alene  Pass . .  5, 089 

Fort  Owen,  in  Bitter-Eoot  Yalley 3, 284 

Deer  Lodge  City,  in  Deer  Lodge  Yalley 4,  768 

Prickly  Pear  Yalley,  near  Helena 4, 000 

Little  Blackfoot,  or  Mullen's  Pass 6, 283 

From  this  list  we  see  that  the